How much guilt should I take on for an online affair that resulted in HIS wife's request for a divorce?

about 2 months ago (Oct 2010) I found someone on facebook, very innocently, and spent the first few weeks just conversing about "normal" everyday things with him, I knew he was married, and he knew I was...maybe 2 e-mails a week, just chatting...well somewhere along the way, it became sexual...i remember him making a comment about my comment on "dancing around the house to Madonna", he said something like,"wow, if I could be a fly on your wall, when you were doing that", then BOOM off to the sexual nature of our relationship...i was most definitely in a loveless,miserable marriage, but never thought he was, even when we were fantasizing with each other sexually...he knew minimally what my marriage consisted of... so everyday we met online in the mornings on and off for a couple hours, e-mailing each other back and forth very explicitly about what we'd like to do together, if we had a chance...his wife was at work, and so was my husband...he was also quite a bit older than i...i am 40, and he is 60, and retired...i always thought this had to be a "dad" thing with me, in some dysfunctional way...anyhow, this continual e-mailing went on through the 18th of December, and never on weekends, as he told me many times, that his wife/family was priority, and weekends, and weekdays after 2pm were "off limits" to talk, that was his time with his wife,kids, and grand kids...so I accepted that...whatever I could get, was better than nothing...so long story short, in the wee hours of 12/19/10, while I was at a rock show that included this persons brother, my husband found some of the e-mails, called me, and blew the cover off of our "affair"...before I could even get home to deal with this somewhat rationally, he had already found this persons wife on facebook, and forwarded copies of our conversations...i cannot even begin to explain the utter devastation this caused everyone involved...of course my husband did not believe that we didn't ever actually become physical, and I'm sure neither did his wife, and I understood that, as I probably wouldn't either, but that WAS the truth...i tried to do some damage control, and e-mail him asap, telling him to delete his FB, and e-mail, which he did, but not before his wife got the e-mails...i was not able to contact him for the past 2 weeks, trying to get through my calm after the storm, and figured he might be doing the same...it drove me crazy with panic attacks, but knew after the 3rd, I could possibly contact him, and see if everything was OK...this person lived in the next town,only about 15mins away...he deleted all his contacts online, so I wrote a letter to give to him in person ( I knew where he lived) I was very careful to only appear if his wife was not home, just to give him this letter...i did that today, and it was awful! not only did he refuse the letter, but continued to tell me that he is "going through a divorce now", because of my exposed e-mails, and my husbands actions...a marriage of 36 year

Updates:
ok again...a marriage of 36 years "down the tubes" as he put it, and then began to tell me, "you have to leave! my daughter will be here any moment to pick up kids(his grandkids)...have a good life...i made a major mistake!" oh my god!
it was horrible, to put it lightly! I'm having trouble getting through this, and the thought of ME being responsible for HIS divorce seems unbearable...i need help...advice...should I feel this guilty for this? what is going on?
can anyone shed light on what I can do to get through this? I am in miserable pain, as well as him, I'm sure, and MY family! my guilt is overwhelming...dont know if I can exist knowing I did this! what kind of effect has this had on HIS grown children?
i AM "the 'other' woman, who broke up their parents 36 year marriage"!

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Most Helpful Girl

  • well you should feel guilty yes. but not any more guilty than he should. you both were responsible for this happening. you were lonely in your marriage and he didn't seem to be lonely but he enjoyed the excitement of talking to you like that. maybe he had some problems in his marriage too and that's something they should be thinking about. maybe some counseling or something. you said your husband and his wife think you guys must have actually been meeting. why not find a way to talk to her woman to woman and let her know the deal? it'll be hard but you helped cause this so you should help fix it. tell her you weren't trying to steal her man and that you guys never actually got physical and it was all just fun flirting online. tell her you know it was wrong but that you never expected it to get like this and ruin a marriage and a family and you're truly sorry. tell her you don't expect her to forgive easily but that there's no reason to get a divorce and that you think they can work through this or something. and as for your husband. why did he do that? he should have talked to you about it first. he acted like a child getting revenge on you. The way he acted and the fact that you had to talk to another man to feel happy tells me that you should be the one getting a divorce.

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    • all I know. (and some of you might well say "i deserve it") is if I DIDNT have children to take care of, and be mommy too, I think I would kill myself, because I can't live with this situation, and knowing I (or my husbands exposure) killed his marriage...seriousley...id probably already be a casualty of suicide...i haven't thought of "hurting myself" in 24 yrs,when I attemted it as a teenager, and was hospitalized...

    • I'm guessing that you have tried to tell your husband before that you need more attention from him and he just hasn't changed. Which is why you were looking for attention elsewhere right? and you said you miss the attention from the other man but you wish it would come from your own husband. I saw a drama a few weeks ago where the whole time the stoic man and the selfish (at least he thought she was) woman were having problems: h/o

    • the man barely looked at her or talked to her and whenever she tried to get him to he just wouldn't. she started cheating on him and still got no response. she decided to leave, still nothing. so at the end of the drama I thought he would beg for her to come back and there would be a happy ending. but she left and he said he would come check on her every now and then. sometimes you just have to let go so you can find someone who will treat you right.

What Guys Said 2

  • He's an adult, and he made his decision to do what he did by himself, every step of the way -- that includes his role in starting and his decisions about ending it and how to end it. If he is going through a divorce now, it is a decision for him and his wife.

    I think you should, as other people have noted, focus on what you and your husband are going through -- it is quite telling that you don't talk at all about where the two of you are at in your marriage as a result of all this.

    You say that you love your husband... I think you should invest a little of the time you used to spend online to figure out where things stand with your husband, and to do your part to make things better.

    Whatever you don't, make sure you don't quickly fall into another online relationship, at a time when you might be particularly vulnerable, looking for that "random compliment" and flirtation that you liked so much. It can be exciting, but ultimately it is most likely shallow and if that is forgotten it can be quite painful, and you certainly found that out the hard way.

    Good luck.

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  • “i AM "the 'other' woman, who broke up their parents 36 year marriage"!” Absolutely not, what you need to deal with is your husband and that the only guilt you need to feel. He was a cheater and it was him that went alone with this. It was him that was typing to you knowing full aware that his wife would be hurt. You’re not to blame in anyway with his marriage. He ruined it with his dirty mind looking for extra sex. It’s him that needs to pay the price. Your husband did nothing wrong in exposing this old dog.

    If you treating his life to have this online affair then I would say it was your fault. I hope she takes him to the cleaners for this…its mostly the emotional part of cheating that hurts the worst then the actual physical part of it. You shouldn’t worry about a cheater because that what they do, cheat.

    Cheater never change, they just switch partners!

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    • what really sucks is that I miss the guy...i miss what he meant to me...i miss the random compliments he gave me, and the feeling of feeling "needed"& "liked"...something MY husband hasn't shown me in YEARS! the worst part of the day is now, in the am, between 9-1, when we would e-mail eachother...i feel like I'm gonna have an anxiety attack...all I do is cry for what he was to me,and guilt for his marriage ending, yet I love my husband, and wish it could be him! I'm VERY confused...

    • To the Questioner: on the your comment below... You need to talk to your husband let him know that you need to feel wanted, needed, and loved not liked loved. You have too. I'm sure that your husband doesn't even realize that he is doing these things. I have seen this happen so many times where one or both partners take each other for granted. Sometimes they say oh they automatically know I love them.. You should always make your partner your priority. ALWAYS

What Girls Said 4

  • You both were wrong for engaging in this kind of relationship with each other, but in the end---you are responsible for your behavior and your marriage, and he is responsible for his behavior and his marriage.

    He chose to talk to you in a sexual nature---knowing that he was married and you were married, and that there was a risk that someone could find out. If it wasn't your husband who found out, who knows, maybe his wife would have found out.

    Again: you are only to blame for your choices and any problems caused in your own relationship---he is responsible for his choices and any problems in his relationship.

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  • I think you should feel guilty, because if you had both gotten the chance, it would have turned physical. Either way its still cheating, and you are both responsible. There is no excuse for cheating. Just a thing called a weak personality and selfishness. You both need to learn to think of other people before you do things.

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    • i just need to feel needed, and my husband refused to do that, so here was a charming older man who would...SO KILL ME! put a big "A" on my shirt, just like the scarlett letter! I don't understand why HE engaged in this behavior if he was happy with his wife...his comment was the one that started all this...otherwise I would have NEVER pushed anything! "you are avery attractive & beautiful girl, that any guy would be lucky to have!" how striking to hear that for once!

      i fell for it!

    • I understand where you're coming from. But this guy obviously is just out to use women for what he can get when its convenient for him, and once that all came crashing down, he threw you to the side. You need to understand that you're the only one that can make yourself happy. I'm 18 and my parents have taught me that for years, you can't put your happiness on other people because they will only make you happy for as long as it makes them happy. which is what he did.

    • Dont look at your life as something that can only be good because of the presence of someone else telling you that you're OK. You need to find a way to make yourself feel important without relying on someone else for that validation. If you go through your life needing people, you will just push them away, because, in the end, people will only do what benefits themselves.Sad but true.You need to be independent.Find a way to improve yourself,so you no longer need validation from others. Good luck

  • Okay, wow! Even though this is a really hard time for you and you feel guilty about it, there really isn't much you can do for damage control anymore, I'm sorry to say it and sound mean, but you made your bed and now you have to lay in it, however, you are not the only guilty part here. If your lover was so concerned about his marriage he would not have gotten mixed up in the affair to begin with, he is just as guilty as you. No body forced the affair on him! He chose it! And he knows how guilty you feel so he is deflecting his guilt on too you. the only thing you can do now is convey how sorry you are for your action, even though both sides, won't hear it or believe you. That's probably as good as it's going to get, accept what you did and realize that your actions and the actions of your lover destroyed two marriages, but your lover needs to accept his part as well. then do your best to move on with your life, and stay away from married men! It only cause heartache for you and the family that is destroyed!

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    • thank you...i understand and accept all you said...i just wish I had some better "coping" skills for my home & family life...i hate having to hide my crying jags, and appearing to have a "deer in the headlights" look, so much of the time! I just want EVERYONE to be happy, and problem free, but I seemed to have f*ck*d that up! I can't live with this!

  • You two cheated on your significant otheres. You should feel very, very guilty. How dare you embarrass your SOs by continuing such a charade? It is his fault as well for going along with it, but you are at least 40% responsibility for that marriage breaking up. You're lucky your husband hasn't tried to divorce you either. It's all well and good for you to feel guilty now, but the damage is done and nothing you do can make it better. You should have thought before you acted.

    Do not ever contact that man again and learn to respect your husband a little more. If you can't do that, end it and don't string him along. And for the love of God, get a little willpower.

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    • Did you know he was married? I'm confused

    • wow! you are a really supportive female to another female...not even really trying to see what I have endured from my "SO" for years...i could tell you stories that would make your skin crawl, IF you have ANY empathy at all! and its not that easy to just leave the marriage, when you have kids involved...there are ALL kinds of reasons! before you really bash me, why don't you get to know me, and MY situation!

    • If your marriage was that bad, then you should get out of it. Cheating is NEVER excused, in any way. Besides, it's usually better for the kids if you do get out of the marriage.

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