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    Married People Who Had Affairs Are Sharing Whether They Regret It Or Not, And Some Of These Answers Will Surprise You

    "I regret not being brave enough to ask for the end of my marriage in a way that honored my integrity. I don’t regret leaving a man who devalued me."

    We recently asked married people in the BuzzFeed Community who've had affairs to share their wildest stories and biggest regrets. Here's what they had to say:

    1. "My wife was on dialysis for three years before her first failed kidney transplant. I gave her one of mine, which she still has, but I was certain she wasn't going to live. My coworker was there for me; I fell in love."

    "I was terrified of being alone. I wish I could take it all back. My 'friend' got really possessive and told my wife. My life has been pretty bad since then; my wife forgave me, but it will never be the same. The hurt is still there — it never goes away, nor does the guilt I feel."


    Person looking sad and holding their head

    2. "I had an emotional affair with a guy 10 years ago. My husband was struggling with alcoholism and depression, and I had a moment of weakness. He knows, and even though we are trying to work through the betrayal, I feel like I’ve lost my best friend and hurt him like no one else ever has. I feel awful, and it was over nothing. The affair cost me trust and love, and it caused the destruction of my marriage. Not worth it."


    3. "I had an affair as a means of escape. My husband was abusive for years, and I hated myself for allowing it to happen. So I cheated, my husband found out, and we divorced. I regret not being brave enough to ask for the end of my marriage in a way that honored the integrity that I have. I don’t regret leaving a man who devalued me. I deserved better."


    4. "My husband and I had intimacy problems. I finally got so lonely and down on myself that I started chatting with people online. One thing led to another, and I was having an online affair."

    "It made me realize that I need intimacy in a relationship, and if my husband isn’t willing to make me happy, then it’s not worth staying. The online affair ended, and I divorced my husband. Almost a year later, I’m dating a man who sexually satisfies me and truly cares about my happiness. The online affair was the best thing to happen to me. People underestimate how important a healthy intimate relationship with their partner really is."


    Couple intimate in bed

    5. "My marriage wasn’t going well. I actually started a company in another state just to put distance between us, and I would travel back and forth. I reached out on a couple dating apps and thought it would be fun to have dinner or a movie with someone, but it became much more very quickly. The affair was incredible and fun; sexually, it was everything I could have imagined."

    "While home for Thanksgiving, I decided to confess my unfaithfulness to my spouse. She took it extremely hard but asked that we not make any life-altering marriage decisions until after the holidays and that I not see this other person. That required me to tell my lover I was still married, and that was tough. She was devastated as we had spent many months developing our relationship, only to have it blow up. For this, I was truly sorry. My marriage has remained intact, though it’s still a work in progress, and my spouse has tried to forgive me. To me, my affair is still a good memory, but because of the pain it caused to my spouse and others, I would not do it again."


    6. "Tension in our marriage was slowly building because we weren’t on the same page in terms of wanting kids. But life overall was good and so much better than it is now. One drunken mistake led to a divorce, and four years later, I live with the regret daily. I fear I’ll never be truly happy or get to have the kids I want."


    7. "I regret absolutely nothing. I tried for years to save my marriage, but I was the only one putting any effort in. I've been painfully unhappy for the last three years, and I'm planning to leave next year when I can afford to take over the mortgage on my own. About a year ago, I started sleeping with a colleague who is in a similarly unhappy marriage."

    "We only meet up once a month, have amazing sex, and then go back to our real lives. The time with him is one of the only times in the month when I'm genuinely happy. He's become a massive source of support for the problems I'm having with my husband, and I'm the same for him with his wife. We are cautious; neither of us makes false promises to leave our partners, and we don't keep in contact outside of work hours. If he told me tomorrow that he wanted to focus on his wife and kids, I'd be genuinely happy for him. We don't want what we are doing to affect our families, but at the same time, we aren't willing to give up something that makes us happy."


    8. "I met my now-husband when we were 16. I was smitten, but as an awkward teen, I had no idea if he felt the same. We remained friends, graduated high school, and then life took us in different directions. We both went on to marry and start families with other people. One day, 20 years after meeting, I found my high school crush on Facebook. I friended him, and I was immediately flooded with the feelings I had for him when we were teens."

    "He was recently divorced and starting over. I quickly unfriended him after a friend who could see how I felt about him threatened to tell my husband. I was devastated. After many years of unhappiness and a loveless marriage, I was despondent. Then, at one of my part-time jobs, there he was — my crush. I immediately felt 16 again. We fell right into sync, and I succumbed to how intense my love was for him. I told him how I felt, and he felt the same. We had a secret affair for six months until my husband found out; we immediately divorced. That was 10 years ago. I have now been married to the love of my life (truly) for the last eight years. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Hands down, the best thing to ever happen to me."


    Couple smiling together

    9. "I had an affair that carried out for over a year. It was exciting and fun until I slipped up and was caught. I tried multiple types of counseling to correct the marriage that had two young kids involved, and it came to light why I was having an affair. I had mentally checked out of my marriage. My wife at the time wasn't my best friend and didn't take my thoughts and needs into consideration. She was great at manipulating me to do what she wanted. Even through the counseling, I continued the affair and realized that my marriage wasn't good for me."

    "I ended up getting a divorce. I am happily married to the person I had an affair with, and this marriage is what I thought all marriages should be. Looking back, that affair was good and bad. The good was I got out of an unhappy marriage and found a person who values me and has become my best friend. The bad was the mental toll it took on me and the breakdowns I had, thinking I wasn't a good father and had hurt them. I don't regret the divorce at all, but I should have gone about it a different way. Yet, at the same time, if I didn't have the affair, I may not have realized how miserable I was."


    10. "I slept with my best friend's wife. A few years later, when they were getting a divorce, she told him with the intention of hurting him. It was the biggest mistake of my life. I hurt my wife and lost my best friend at the same time. It wasn’t worth losing the best man I had ever known."


    11. "I felt unattractive for a few years. When I started getting attention from men — I'd been a stay-at-home mom and went back to school — I just caved. He divorced me, and I regret it every day. In some ways, it's better because I’m not sure I’m cut out for marriage. But it’s been a few years now, and dating is the worst."


    12. "When I left my spouse for the man I had an affair with, my son didn't talk to me for two years. I had such a difficult time with that. My partner also left his wife; his daughter blamed me for years for being a home-wrecker. She would never talk to me or be around me whenever there were family functions. The relationship with my partner ended because I found out that he cheated on me."

    "Too many loved ones were hurt by our actions. My son and I are close again, but after all the pain I caused in my family, I made a promise to myself and God that I would never again pursue a relationship with a man who was married."


    Person crying and holding their head

    13. "Ten years ago, I had an affair on my wife of 20 years. My family had just moved to Ohio, but the higher-paying jobs were located in New York. Looking back, we had grown apart emotionally; I was a workaholic, and she had to run the house and raise six kids. When I took the NY job, I was supposed to come home every other weekend, but I was only making it home every 6–8 weeks. So one night, out of boredom, I was scouting an online dating service when I met her."

    "She listened, and she found me interesting. So we met, and what followed was two days of sex. I knew that it was a mistake from the moment we kissed. My infidelity destroyed the trust my wife had in me and shattered her to her soul. It cost me the respect of my children, who, 10 years later, are just starting to trust me again. For 10 years, my wife tried to rebuild trust with the man who hurt her so badly. I also lied to my mistress, hurting both her and her young kids. Was a roll in the hay worth all the pain, distrust, and heartache that it caused? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I can only hope that someday before I die, the most honest and kind woman in the world will be able to once again believe me when I say, 'I love you.'"


    14. "I have been married to a narcissist for 22 years (diagnosed by a therapist). I was always walking on eggshells, giving her everything she wants. If I didn’t pick up her phone call, she would check the cell phone logs to see who I was talking to. If I did speak to anyone else, she would harp on about not prioritizing her."

    "As a child, I saw my parents fight nonstop, and I didn’t want that environment for my children. My wife knew it and exploited it. We lived separate lives for a while, and during that time, I met someone. I got to know her well at work and outside; I fell in love with her. I feel alive again. I enjoy making her happy. I enjoy being myself around her. The only regret I have is the impact the divorce will have on my children."


    15. "It destroyed the trust in my marriage. We are still married and trying to work through it, but it’s been a struggle. He questions every little thing I do now. I love my husband and should have never done it."

    "I always thought what they don’t know won’t hurt them, but you never anticipate them finding out or the damage it can do, especially if you have kids together. I will never repeat that same mistake. It definitely is not worth it."


    16. "I lived in the basement for two years. My wife and I barely spoke, never had sex, and barely even touched each other. We were basically in it for the kids. I believed everything to be over. Then, I met someone, and we hit it off immediately. We texted at first, and it was a few weeks before we met in person, but it was everything I had missed with my wife."

    "We laughed, we touched, we cared about day-to-day things and were interested in each other's lives. We met numerous times and were talking about moving in together. Long story short, a huge fight between my wife and I revealed that I was in love with another woman, and I was going to leave. My wife wanted to try and make it work again, so I ended the affair. Now, eight months later, we are right back where we were. No romance, no intimacy, and just in it for the kids. I don't regret the affair, but I also don't regret ending it. I don't think the kids would have taken it well."


    Couple facing away from each other on the sofa

    17. "Worst. Decision. Ever. My life spiraled downward, and I lost my wife and children. I now live alone in a one-bedroom. Christmas is cold."


    18. And finally, "I married when I got pregnant, but my husband became abusive. So what did I do? I had an affair with another man for 12 years. I was having sex with my husband and my lover. I had three children, whom I truly believed were my husband's. During our divorce, the DNA proved two of my three children were not my ex's biological sons. It was a shit-show."

    "I regret lying. I regret having an affair. All three of my children have disowned me, and I do not blame them."


    Person crying against a wall

    Have you ever had an affair or been cheated on? Share your experience in the comments below.

    Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.