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All you wanna do- the end of the affair

Community Member

This is my first post and I feel very vulnerable and sad so please be kind. I'm already being very hard on myself.

I (36 F) have been married for 8 years (together for 13) to a man who is a lot older than I am (25 years older to be exact). We have a 5 year old son.

Bit of a cliche story I suppose- we've not been connecting well over the last couple of years, largely divide and conquer with parenting, very little physical intimacy. I've been quite unhappy for the past year or so as he has become very critical (and I am quite sensitive to criticism). I feel like I walk on eggshells often and do a lot to appease him and try to make him happy or at least not upset with me.

Through a random work connection, I met a man who I instantly enjoyed talking to. It very quickly became an emotional affair. We live in different cities but within a couple of weeks of talking constantly, he made a trip here and it became physical. It was very intense, talk of love, wanting to be together, and offering me a very different life- one with a true partnership. I took a trip to see him this weekend (which my husband believed was a work trip) and I could feel that he was a little bit off- which he vehemently denied. But sure enough, this morning he sends me a text (ouch) to tell me that he just can't cope with the guilt and is ending it.

I am SHATTERED. I had already come to the conclusion that I would need to make a decision about ending or staying in my marriage independently of wanting to be with him or not but I truly believed him when he told me that he loved me.

I feel so angry and upset and betrayed that I fell for this complete fallacy and feel like all he wanted was a physical relationship. I'm so hurt and it's triggered a spiral of self loathing, of feeling rejected, like I'm never enough, never worthy.

I don't have anyone in my life that I could talk to. My best friend would be the one person I could confide in but she has completely cut me off recently. I know she's been struggling with her own mental health and this is how she copes but I feel so alone and like I have no one I can talk to. Everything feels very difficult at the moment 😞

thanks for 'listening'

11 Replies 11

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi there,

i am sorry you are feeling upset. think about why he ended it - was it the guilt of the affair? the fact he was with a married woman? what could you have done about this? it's a tough spot.

you could always have a talk with him one last time to see why then make your decision. is your marriage worth staying in? is this a sign to move on?

only you know the answers to these questions, and everyone deserves to be happy.

i am here to talk if you need,

jaz xx

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

We do get similar situations here so I think it was a good move to vent and seek thoughts, thoughts that can vary a lot on this topic.

I think it would be better to at this time, disregard this lover for the time being which wont be easy and focus your thoughts on what you want in life. Even put aside your child ATM. Ask yourself questions-

  • Am I in love with my husband?
  • Do I love him
  • What is missing from my marriage and can I retrieve it?

I had a SIL once. She met a married man 20 years her senior, He had two children 1 and 2 years younger than her. She persisted for a few years that he divorce, he did. Then she pushed him to get married- they did. Then she wanted a child so she pushed for him to get a vasectomy reversed- he did, they had a daughter. Then when their child reached 3yo she left him. I visited her and was shocked after all this she said "I married an old man". Can you see the irony?

You said you are going through some self loathing etc and I can understand that however the issues that plagued you and your husband the last year or two are fixable if you both attended counselling. What might be harder to fix is your "walking on egg shells" interaction with him which could be the result of more a father figure factor. I mention all this because you have some thinking to do and you have eluded to leaving him regardless of the man you rendezvoused with.

So, your dilemma poses questions more about your marriage and your right and desire for a future with passion and love without the dominance of your husband. Perhaps you will consider a separation, a single life for a while to clear your head and see what develops. With that in mind the man you met might be willing to connect again but the process would be more structured and fair.

I hope you are ok. We try not to judge here and we are always feeling compassion towards your mental coping issues. Stay strong and logical.


Hi KateHow!

Thank you for finding the courage to post so bravely. I have no doubt that our community champions and your peers will continue to comment constructively to help they best they can.

These situations in life can be some of the most hurtful, confusing and complicated that we have to face as human beings and navigating plans at the same time as navigating feelings can be a lot to take on.

Our friends at Relationships Australia can be really helpful in these sorts of scenarios and you can find them here 1300 364 277. Of course, relationship counsellors and supporting therapists in general can be really useful in this setting regardless, and we do hope you will seek help if you feel that you need it. 

And of course, you can reach out to us here 24/7.  Call 1300 22 4636

Again, thank you for the courage this post took and thank you for joining our community.


Sophie M.

Community Champion
Community Champion


A warm friendly welcome to this forum and thanks so much for being open and honest in your first thread.

Tony and Jazz have given you supportive suggestions.

Blaming your self and feeling upset and self loathing will not help.

You were vulnerable and fell for someone who you believed.

Now you have time and space to work out what you really want.
Tony has suggested things to think about.

Take care for yourself,.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi KateHow,

I’m sorry that you find yourself in this situation, but glad that you have found the forums as it’s nice to be able to get advice in an anonymous, non-judgmental space. Firstly, the affair has hopefully opened your eyes to the fact that there are men out there who you can fall in love with or feel something for as well as the fact that you can’t keep going in your marriage. This might actually be a blessing in disguise as no good can come from an affair, eventually you will be found out and the turmoil of being found out as well as the impact on your son can cause you to beg and plead with your spouse without calmly contemplating whether this relationship is the right thing for you.
“I feel so angry and upset and betrayed that I fell for this complete fallacy and feel like all he wanted was a physical relationship.” - how do you know this is the case? He didn’t say that, only that the guilt is too much for him. You didn’t mention but is he married or seeing someone as well? Or is it the guilt about sleeping with a married woman? I don’t think you should be so quick to jump to the conclusion that you were used. Affairs by their nature are very complex and involve a lot of deceit and betrayal, he may just be having a hard time dealing with that fact. Irrespective of him, I think you need to really sit down and weigh up what you want for your future as you have seen that staying in an unhappy relationship is a dangerous place.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello KateHow, when you marry someone much older than yourself it's OK while you're young but age catches up and eventually the older person becomes an old man, in your situation, and he's not the same as he was 10 years ago and in another 10 years, well you aren't sure what's going to happen and I say this as I know someone who started living with a man 15 years her senior and now he's in his 80's and should be moved somewhere else.

In regards to this other chap who befriended you this happens quite a lot with the intention of one thing and now he says he feels guilty, well what he was after he achieved and this has probably happened beforehand, unfortunately when you needed someone he appeared.

This isn't your fault, you needed to talk with someone and when a listening ear came along you were thankful, but now you need to sort out your marriage whether it's still viable and counselling would help or if you believe a separation would help you to make a decision.

Best wishes.


Community Member
thanks Jaz. He says it was because of the guilt and no longer wanting to move to be in the same city as me (which he had previously been more than willing to do). I'm just struggling because of the huge switch from "I love you, you're my partner, I won't hurt you" to I can't do this anymore. It makes me doubt everything he ever said for it to change so abruptly. I feel like a fool believing him.

those are good and insightful questions to ask Tony, thank you.

I do think the walking on eggshells dynamic will be difficult to fix 😞 My husband is trying to be less critical of things that he feels are small annoyances but I feel very hurt when he rants about them.

Hi Juliet, no he is single (divorced about 2 years ago). The reason I feel like he was lying to me about how he was feeling was that it was SO intense (which if I'm being honest did worry me a little bit but I allowed myself to get swept along with it because it felt so good to be desirable and valued) and then such a sudden shift to complete withdrawal. If he truly felt the way that he said he did about me, surely it couldn't change so quickly nor would he make a sudden unilateral decision that he refuses to discuss? He won't even do me the courtesy of a phone call to explain. I'm floored and hurt by the sudden withdrawal.