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I cheated on my husband with two of my brother's friends

*Sam, then 50, had been married to her husband for 20 years when she met her brother’s friend Nick* at a party. They embarked on a three-year affair that would change her life forever… and then she met a second friend of her brother's.

Sam* had never been unfaithful before, but got caught up in a whirlwind affair with her brother's friend Nick*. Posed by models. (Getty Images)
Sam* had never been unfaithful before, but got caught up in a whirlwind affair with her brother's friend Nick*. Posed by models. (Getty Images)

A few months after turning 50, I went with my younger brother Mike* to his friend’s 50th birthday party. Mike had joined the forces when he was 20 and was stationed in Germany but ended up staying there for good after meeting his wife and having two children with her.

My brother and I are very close, so I’d been visiting Mike in Germany regularly ever since. While there, I’d met and got to know many of his friends and their wives too.

I’d been married to my husband Phil* for 20 years at this point and our two sons were 10 and 12. At first, our relationship was passionate, exciting and fast-paced, but after marrying and having kids, the dynamics began to change.

He was very controlling. After my maternity leave ended, he made me leave my job as a restaurant manager to look after our sons, while he often worked away. I struggled with this, as I loved my work and the fact I could be financially independent. I also wanted to keep a part of my old life before having kids.

As a compromise, I suggested reducing my working hours, but he wouldn't let up. Eventually, I gave in to avoid any more arguments. I knew we’d still be financially stable as he ran his own business and was very successful.

While this worked for a while, it left me isolated and dependent on him, which I knew he thrived on. I did go back to work part-time when our sons were eight and 10, but the damage had already been done. I’d grown to resent him and longed for the day my kids were old enough so I could finally break free.

A special connection

As soon as she met Nick* at the party, she felt an instant connection. Posed by models. (Getty Images)
As soon as she met Nick* at the party, she felt an instant connection. Posed by models. (Getty Images)

This particular party was in the UK, and so my brother Mike had flown over with a few others to attend – two of whom I’d never met – including his single friend Nick*. My sister-in-law was unable to get the time off work, so Mike asked me to go with him and introduced me to Nick on arrival. Little did he know that was the moment he’d change my life forever.

I'd never done anything like this before, and despite my unhappy marriage, I knew it was wrong. But something inside me told me that I needed to have this experience...

Even though we'd only just met, Nick and I were inseparable for the whole party. We had so much in common – from loving the same music to our sarcastic sense of humour – so we talked and drank for hours. The free bar definitely loosened my inhibitions, and I found myself being naturally flirty around him. I hadn't felt a spark like this in years and part of me wanted to see where it would go.

Nick and I ended up exchanging numbers and even arranged to meet a few days later. I'd never done anything like this before, and despite my unhappy marriage, I knew it was wrong. But something inside me told me that I needed to have this experience, whatever it may be.

I confided in my best friend about what had happened and knowing how lost I was in my current relationship, she encouraged me to meet up with Nick again. We decided to meet in Manchester where my friend lived, so she could be my alibi. I told my husband and kids we were going on a spa weekend, but instead packed my best lingerie, fully intending to get intimate with Nick.

A different world

On their first weekend away together, she felt like she was 'living someone else's life'. Posed by models. (Getty Images)
On their first weekend away together, she felt like she was 'living someone else's life'. Posed by models. (Getty Images)

We met outside Piccadilly Station and went for a drink in a bar nearby. I needed to calm my nerves, so ended up finishing two glasses of large white wine, before he announced he’d booked us a hotel for the night. When we arrived, I couldn't believe my eyes – it was the swankiest five-star hotel I’d ever set eyes on.

The weekend was like a dream. He wined and dined me, and treated me like I was the only woman in the world. I’d never felt so connected to someone I barely knew.

I told him I felt like I was in a film and had never been treated like this by a man before. He simply told me he "thought I was worth it," and that he hadn’t thought of anything but me since we first met.

The weekend was like a dream. He wined and dined me, and treated me like I was the only woman in the world. I’d never felt so connected to someone I barely knew, and during those few days, it was like I was living someone else’s life.

I was so caught up in the whirl of excitement, I barely thought about my husband or the fact that I’d been unfaithful. Instead, I embraced what was happening and threw myself into this new world – one where I was valued, respected and treated like a queen. I countered any tiny feelings of guilt with the knowledge that I deserved to be happy.

Desperate to see each other

After our weekend together, Nick and I promised to see each other as much as possible before he flew back to Germany. He was only in the UK for two weeks and was staying at his dad’s.

Every chance we got, we’d be texting, speaking to each other on the phone or meeting up for hours at a time. On two occasions I took my kids to their friend's houses and we slipped into a nearby hotel before I re-emerged four hours later, flushed and satisfied, dashing to go and pick them up.

I couldn’t stand lying to my sons and hated the thought of them knowing. Would they think I was a bad person? Did they know I was unhappy with their father?

This was harder for me, as I couldn’t stand lying to my sons and hated the thought of them knowing. Would they think I was a bad person? Did they know I was unhappy with their father? And if they did, would they be old enough to understand? But the thrill of the affair – and how I felt when I was with Nick – was what kept me going.

On their first weekend away, she felt like she was 'living someone else's life'. Posed by models. (Getty Images)
Sam* was terrified of her sons finding out, worried how they'd view her. Posed by models. (Getty Images)

Missing my lover

When Nick had to go back to Germany, I felt crushed. Even though he was still a phone call away, suddenly there were hundreds of miles between us. I wondered whether this would be it for us, but he assured me he still wanted to see me, saying he was falling in love with me.

I quickly arranged to go to Germany and took my kids during the Easter holidays while my husband stayed at home to work. My sons were none the wiser and were just excited about seeing their younger cousins.

Our affair went on for another three years, both of us flying back and forth to see each other as often as we could without raising suspicion and talking almost every day.

One night during the week-long trip, I told my children I was going to see my friend Leanne*, the wife of one of my brother’s friends. Mike, who had been aware of the affair for a few months, drove me to the train station where I had planned to meet Nick.

When I’d first told Mike about the affair, he was shocked – as I’d expected – but he was also empathetic, aware of how tough I found my marriage. Mike and I tell each other everything, so he knew that my husband wasn’t treating me right, and ultimately, he wanted me to be happy.

My evening with Nick in Germany flew by; we just got on so well and that night I realised I was falling in love with him too.

Our affair went on for another three years, both of us flying back and forth to see each other as often as we could without raising suspicion and talking almost every day.

Reality kicks in

After three years, she decided she had to end the affair for the sake of her children. Posed by model. (Getty Images)
After three years, she decided she had to end the affair for the sake of her children. Posed by model. (Getty Images)

But one day, I had to make the hardest decision of my life – I had to end things with Nick. He wanted me to come clean to my husband so that we could be together. I’d already told him this wouldn't be possible as I couldn’t leave my marriage until my children were older and had left home. Plus, he lived in Germany, and couldn’t move back to the UK because of his job.

"But you’re the love of my life," he wept down the phone the night I broke things off.

"I have to stay with my husband for the sake of the kids," I told him, adding, “But this affair has allowed me to feel valued and in control, after never having a say in my marriage.”

My husband was working away more than ever, which did give me some relief knowing I wouldn’t see him every day or have to share the same bed every night.

Feeling like I needed to be in control was only true at first though – Nick was nothing like my husband and taught me what a healthy relationship could look like. I loved Nick, but I had to suppress my feelings if I were to move on.

My husband was working away more than ever, which did give me some relief knowing I wouldn’t see him every day or have to share the same bed every night.

I did feel pockets of guilt every now and then, but only towards my children, envisioning how they would react or view me if they were ever to find out.

My relationship with my husband didn’t change throughout the three years I was with Nick, but I think a lot of that was down to his selfishness. He never paid me enough attention to realise that I was in love with another man.

A second affair

Sam* had just had a huge row with her husband when she met Steve*, who made it clear he liked her. Posed by models. (Getty Images)
Sam* had just had a huge row with her husband when she met Steve*, who made it clear he liked her. Posed by models. (Getty Images)

Then about seven months later, when my brother was home for Christmas, I met his school friend, Steve*. Mike and I were out for drinks in town when he came over to us with another friend to say hi.

I was a few wines down and feeling flirtatious – I’d also had a huge row with my husband earlier in the day. Steve and I ended up chatting, and because he was also tipsy, he made it known that he found me attractive.

Steve* told me he’d just come out of a long-term relationship and wasn’t looking for anything serious but would like to take me out on a date. I told him I was married but not happy, and that I fancied him too.

He told me he’d just come out of a long-term relationship and wasn’t looking for anything serious but would like to take me out on a date. I told him I was married but not happy, and that I fancied him too. He took my phone and added his number – I let him, thinking nothing would come of it because we were both drunk.

But, the next day he texted me and asked if I was free for dinner during the week. I impulsively said yes, knowing my husband was on his last work trip of the year. I took my kids to my parents’ house for the night, telling them I was going out with workmates. Instead, we secretly met at a restaurant about 45 minutes away from where we lived.

Too big a risk

This affair – which I didn’t tell my brother about – was completely different to how things were with Nick. Steve was gentle and kind, but our relationship was mostly physical.

It went on for about six months before I ended things – I was conscious that because our relationship wasn’t as deep and meaningful as what I’d had with Nick, it would be silly to risk everything. I was also more on edge because Steve lived nearby, and I couldn’t cope with constantly having to look over my shoulder, worrying someone might spot us together.

I was on edge because Steve* lived nearby, and I couldn’t cope with constantly having to look over my shoulder, worrying someone might spot us together.

Steve completely understood when I called things off, assuring me that there’d be no bad feeling between us. I’ve since seen him around and he was right – there’s no awkwardness, just a reciprocal fondness that puts me at ease.

Looking back on the affairs, Sam* feels they boosted her self-esteem at a time when she was low. Posed by model. (Getty Images)
Looking back on the affairs, Sam* feels they boosted her self-esteem at a time when she was low. Posed by model. (Getty Images)

Ultimately, even though I know both affairs were wrong, I wouldn’t change them. They didn’t affect my marriage and my husband is still none the wiser. I just hope that when my children are out living their own lives for good I can pluck up the courage to finally leave.

I don’t see myself having any more affairs and if my husband and I were to split up, I’d like to think I’d spend some time alone to work on myself. But who knows what might happen? I didn’t expect to fall in love with Nick, and I certainly didn’t predict that I’d embark on two full-blown affairs when I said my 'I do’s' all those years ago.

When I look back at what happened, I realise that Nick and Steve gave me the control I had been denied in my marriage and helped me regain the self-esteem I’d lost years before. But mostly, both men – Nick especially – showed me what it was like to be cherished and I’ll always be grateful for that.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.