To still struggle with trust 7mths after DH's emotional affair(103 Posts)
7mths ago I found out about DH's emotional affair (+ kissing). He ended affair which had been going on for 1 mth and said he wanted our marriage to work. We have been married nearly 20 years and have 2 kids in primary school.
I have a sneaky suspicion he's just staying with me for the kids and out of duty. We are also christians and are v. involved in our church. We have been taught from birth by christian parents that divorce is only really an option in exceptional circumstances. It would also send big ripples through our church family (although I know people would try to help and support us).
Am still struggling to trust although I know affair is over. Still feel heartbroken and a few times a week I still have a cry. Should I be over it by now?
I do not think you are bu. I totally think you need to sit down with your hubby and explain how you feel now. Tell him you are still finding it very difficult to come to terms with what's happened. Ask him outright why he chose to stay if you feel your suspicions are valid.
If you do get over this, it'll be in your own time- not when your church, or your husband, or a bunch of well -meaning internet people decides. It's entirely natural that you are struggling to trust your husband - after all, he broke your trust and deceived you. He is probably the person you trusted most in the world, and yet he was quite happy to put his desires ahead of your family.
To be honest, I'd say that one party having an affair is a pretty exceptional circumstance, but obviously you have chosen to weigh up your church's teachings against your husband's betrayal and decided to stay in the marriage, which is obviously your choice.
Did your church provide any support for your marriage after the affair? Or did your husband insist that you keep it quiet?
Agree with sparkly about talking to him about it. 7 months after is nothing btw so yes you are bound to still be feeling upset. Is he being transparent about everything he does ie phone internet etc as its impossible to rebuild that trust if he is not helping you to feel secure.
More wise mners will be along soon...
No I kept it quiet from church. I'm sure they would have been great but I felt hurt and embarrassed that DH could have done this to our family. Have only told a very selected few friends and family in RL.
Yes he's being transparent. But my world has been turned upside down and I just don't feel secure anymore.
Did you discover it, or did he confess and repent?
It sounds from your post that you would rather restore your marriage than end it. But the pain of infidelity is often greater from the lying and betrayal rather than the actual sexual contact. So I think you should be seeing this as an affair, and really looking to see if you can ever trust your DH again. Even he Bible allows for divorce in cases of adultery - and it does not specify PIV as the marker that adultery has taken place.
But, oddly, accepting the magnitude of what has happened is likely to help you deal with it. Does your DH also realise how great a transgression this is from your pov? What is he doing to promote healing?
Yes he's truly sorry. But is still missing her so has started seeing a therapist because he was obviously still quietly pining and needed to vent. He knew I wasn't the right person to offload to about this!!
V hard to know he's still pining for someone else. Don't know whether my fragile heart can take it TBH.
I'm really sorry Printme, that's a very hard situation to be dealing with, especially with young children to care for. I agree that YANBU, 7 months is no time at all to deal with a betrayal of a 20 year relationship.
I think that coming to terms with a partner's infidelity, whether the relationship survives or not, is a bit like the grieving process. You have to go through the stages of numbness, anger, grief and acceptance (not necessarily in that order and with lots of moving around the stages) before you can move on.
It does sound like your DH is still being quite selfish though - he's told you he misses the other woman?? I agree with Sparkly, talking is key. He needs to understand the effect on you, and maybe focus on his family rather than himself.
you need to find out if he is "just staying with me for the kids and out of duty", nor can you live life making decisions based on "It would also send big ripples through our church family " The fact he is struggling giving her up, and you are struggling with trust shows you both have a huge amount to talk about, honestly. It may feel you have taken a big step backwards for a while, but it also may be the only way to proceed onwards and stand any chance of resolving all these issues
Dpending on your relationships within your church, I think you should tell somebody at church - ideally someone wise, whom you trust and who has the time and energy to support you as you work out where to go from here.
If you were at our church, I'd be concerned that you hadn't told anyone. Don't be embarassed. I know that everyone else's marriages often look perfect but that is NOT the case. I think secrecy here helps your husband minimise what he did, and removes a valuable level of support from you.
If you both want to try to repair the marriage, then you need people to vent to, and he needs people to be accountable to, who can kick him up the backside if he is being self-pitying, and remind him how he has betrayed you, and how hard he is going to have to work to win back your trust. He needs someone to ask some hard questions of him, about exactly what happened and how he let himself get there. Pining for someone else is a self indulgence he is going to have to forgo if your marriage has any hope of surviving.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. I have seen this before and I know how utterly traumatic it is for the person betrayed. Whatever you do, don't try to smooth it over or you will end up on the edge, wondering if you are going mad, when it wasn't you who had the affair.
You shouldn't have to deal with this alone either. If people in your church are your support group, then please open up to somebody you trust. The embarrassed and shame should all be your husband's. Are your family and friends able to offer support, or at least a non-judgemental listening ear?
Even if you don't believe in or want a divorce, you are under no obligation to pretend to the world at large that the marriage is a bed of roses. You can ask your husband to leave for as long as it takes for you to be ready to live with him again. He can mope around like a lovesick teenager in a bedsit for a weeks - might make him realise what he stands to lose. If he wants the marriage to work , and is genuinely sorry rather than paying lip service, then he should be doing everything in his power to repair the relationship with you.
Personally I don't think I could ever 'get over' a betrayal like an affair or an EA. I feel for you x
Totally agree with LadyPeter, esp:
"If you were at our church, I'd be concerned that you hadn't told anyone. Don't be embarassed. I know that everyone else's marriages often look perfect but that is NOT the case. I think secrecy here helps your husband minimise what he did, and removes a valuable level of support from you.
If you both want to try to repair the marriage, then you need people to vent to, and he needs people to be accountable to, who can kick him up the backside if he is being self-pitying, and remind him how he has betrayed you, and how hard he is going to have to work to win back your trust. He needs someone to ask some hard questions of him, about exactly what happened and how he let himself get there. Pining for someone else is a self indulgence he is going to have to forgo if your marriage has any hope of surviving."
The marriage hasn't been great throughout really - although we have had some good times. We are sooo different - and not in a way that always complements the other. We have been in counselling for a few years - even before the EA.
He is sorry but not sorry enough for my liking.
TBH l couldn't ever get past him admitting 'he is still missing her' bit personally and needing to have therapy for that.
The poor love .
There is a fine line between absolute honesty and cruelty.
He is still being emotionally unfaithful l'm afraid and has still not come back to you and after this amount of time you need to ask yourself and him if he ever will.
Very sorry you're going through this, anyone who thinks an affair without the dirty deed is not really hurting anyone should read this thread.
My ex had an EA, and it became painfully obvious, despite has protests that he wanted me, he couldnt give her up, and eventually left me for her.
You wont be able to get past this until he willingly gives her up, and if hes still pinning for her then hes not willing.
Have you sought counselling for yourself?
Yes I kind of do feel second best to her. Thing is I don't think she'd have him even if he he wanted to be with her. Not really sure where this leaves us as a couple.
So sorry this is so hard for you.
My advice would be to stop thinking about how your dh feels but concentrate on how YOU feel.
You say your marriage has never been great. Neither of you appear to be happy. Is it worth saving? Really really do you want of foresee being married to this man for the rest of your life?
Has this EA actually provided you with a catalyst to reassess your needs and your wants?
Don't stay if its just for the kids or to save face with the church.
Can this man give you what YOU want.???
Be honest to yourself.
I agree with thebody there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself first now and again. Especially when others around you aren't.
The affair is not over if he's still pining for her and having counselling to talk about how much he loves/misses her.
You deserve better than this.
Hadn't thought about it like that - that he's still having an emotional affair if he's still pining but no longer has contact with her.
I think what I'd like is some attempt at a sorry gesture - to make me really believe he means it. Like a written note, a gift, a break away just the two of us, renewal of wedding vows or the engagement ring he never bought me 20 years ago. Or something.
FWIW, I found out my husband was having an affair 7 months ago. He insists to this day that it was only an 'emotional' affair until after I found out and kicked him out. But anyway. I did so because I knew that months down the line what you are feeling is exactly how I'd be feeling.
Instead, 7 months on and I'm doing brilliantly. I have friends, a social life and, most importantly, peace. I don't care who he's pining for or seeing or thinking about.
I'm not going to tell anyone else what to do, but splitting up isn't the worst thing in the world. And I know that you're reading this thinking "it's alright for you, but I..." and I thought exactly the same. But I deserved better than what he was offering me and so do you.
I'm sorry. This must be hell.
But you know what I couldn't carry on being married to someone that had done that and then needed therapy because of his pining.
Hard to know what to say to you, he's broke your trust and hurt you.
Do you want to stay with that kind man, is that what you deserve?
This affair isn't over. He's seeing a therapist because he misses her so much?
Darling... You're worth more than that.
I'll go against the grain here and say I think you're being a bit hard on yourself and on your husband, depending on how far his emotional affair went.
It's quite natural and it does happen that someone can fall for someone who isn't their partner - it's inevitable - but he didn't go ahead and sleep with her, and he has chosen you
Big woopy doo.
He chose his wife over a woman he'd had an EA and kissed. He lied and cheated then can't get over her!
Yup... he chose his wife - that has to count for something. I take the view that at some level, emotional affairs are inevitable (depending on how we define them) in a marriage
Why are you clinging on to a marriage that "wasn't great even before his affair" Personally, I couldn't stand to see his pining, snivelling face over the cornflakes every morning
How do you manage it ?
Men stay for various reasons. Their dc are probably quite high up as one of the reasons, disruption to the family/home, finance, logistics, shame.
Not just because he chose his wife.
Sorry OP I think you deserve more than he's given you and what he continues to give you.
Well, then the OP should leave him if she's unhappy with the marriage and feels it's over
Clowns, lots of women stay because of the influence of society....much of which is reflected in your comments on this thread
The most healthy way to view this man is as the sniveling inadequate he is
I wouldn't accept this 'pining'. Bloody hell, what is he, a lovesick teenager? It's either over with the other woman and he's 100% committed and dedicated to his wife and family, and seeks counselling to help with that (not to discuss 'the ex'), or he's not.
And if he's not then you need to decide how that makes you feel and what you want to do. Can you live with him every day forever knowing he's still in love with some woman who won't have him (and what does that say about him as well)? How will your relationship function with this new power balance, with both of you knowing he views you as second best?
I think you need to confide in someone you trust in the church as well as some friends. Don't worry about what people think; he needs to be held publicly accountable for what he's done and you need support to get through this, whichever path you choose.
I guess I just hoped it was for life ... like everyone I guess. People stay together mainly in my circle - I just don't know if I know him anymore.
To me he may as well as slept with her.
Pining for someone is almost worst.
He spent a month having an EA and 7 months pining. And poor little him is in therapy because he is missing someone he had an EA with for a month.
All the time while you sit there like a good little wife dealing with all the shit.
Where is your therapy for the pain and heartache you have gone through. Where is all the care, tenderness and understanding for you.
He is as selfish now as when he gave himself permission to do this.
Unless you get to the bottom of that, he gives himself a kick up the arse and sorts himself out and invests in your and your marriage rather than poor him you will still be stuck like this.
7 months. Over half a year wasted on this pathetic excuse for a husband.
What is your cut off point where you start to put yourself first?
Personally, I couldn't stand to see his pining, snivelling face over the cornflakes every morning
I know this is no laughing matter but...
AF You have such a way with words,
Oh yes definitely l agree. Sadly you are right, but still a great turn of phrase.
I would be worried about the therapy tbh, to me he is keeping the affair alive by talking about he is missing her. Sorry
I have had some therapy too over all this. We are also having couples therapy too with same therapist. It helps to a degree.
I just feel he's not sorry enough. Or if he is he's not telling me about it.
All this therapy and he still doesn't get it ?
He doesn't want to, love. That is the bottom line.
I'm not trying to start a bun fight, just present a different point of view, but how do we know he doesn't want to get over this other woman. For all we know, he might desperately want to get over her.
It's really really common in a marriage to fall for someone else, to flirt - yes he took it too far when he kissed her but it physically stopped there. I think it' a little unreasonable to assume that in a marriage no one will ever get a crush on someone outside the marriage. From the little we know, that's what happened here - however, he is going for counselling, and therapy. What more can we expect the husband to do?- he can't control his feelings
The therapy post EA would put the nail in the coffin for me. As others as said this is self indulgent and so dismissive of you and your feelings. Actually it's downright cruel.
I know you've said people stay together in your circle, but you don't have to. You're not the one that has broken your relationship.
No clowns, being married is not about having crushes on people and then needing therapy to get over it.
The OP is well within her rights to finish this marriage.
Of course she's well within rights to - she can end the marriage whenever she wants, but what happened has happened, is really common and it may well be outside the control of the husband. The OP and her husband may want to save the marriage.
I'm just not quite sure what the husband here should be doing
Sending - He could control what he feels (he's a grown up I'm guessing) and he could certainly control what he says to his wife.
'I need therapy to get my head straight and explore why this happened' would have been better than 'I need therapy to get over my other woman because I'm pining for her' is a really cruel insulting piece of information to share.
I'm not suggesting he should have lied but I don't think he respects how the OP feels. I think you're right OP, he's not nearly sorry enough. You're crying a couple of times a week - that's a horrible way to live.
It's very difficult to control your feelings for someone - has no-one here struggled to get over an ex?
And you're right, it might not be the kindest way to explain things, but it may well be the truth
I assume family money is being spent on allowing this wanger to bleat to a therapist about how he is "pining after his crush" (who very sensibly sounds like she wouldn't piss on him if he was burning)
OP, this sounds like an awful way to live.
I would be willing to bet any sum of money that he is still in contact with the OW, especially as he is actively "pining" for her.
What a sad excuse for a husband.
You deserve better - never be anyone's second choice in this life.
Clowns, he's hurt her. Lied and cheated. The OP is finding it hard to move on as she feels he's only with her for the dc aside from the fact he's still pining for the OW.
He's done it. It's now up to the OP to work out whether she can move on and have some sort of life with him.
His feelings are second.
I'm not denying that he hurt her, she can end it if she likes ...
But hasn't he ultimately done the right thing before it became a full blown affair? - as far as we know, he ended it with the OW, he's in couple's therapy and is trying to work on his marriage. Yes, it will be tough, yes, he still thinks about OW, but he has chosen to stay married to OP
you say she can "end it is she likes" and then come out with apologist, man-pleasing crap
make your mind up, clown
Talk to God, take all your hurts and worries to Him..........and He WILL answer you.
If saving your marriage is what you decide to do these websites are brilliant.
And for what it's worth I do believe it's possible for any of us to get too close to someone we shouldn't and it does take time for irrational crushes or EA to be worked through. Never forget - ALL things are possible with God and he can change you both to be the husband/wife He intended you to be, and He can heal and restore marriages.
Good luck, I wish you all the best
AF, the advice I'm writing is completely gender neutral - there's a thread in relationships about a woman who is tempted to have an affair - she's already in an EA - what is the advice to her?
End it with the OM before it becomes a full blown affair, go back to your husband, go for counselling - why is this different?
oh dear, I take it all back, clowns
someone with even worse advice than you has rocked up
clowns, that is not the advice I would give on that thread you are talking about
So the OP should be thankful to him because he didn't sleep with OW.
What would the advice be, should the husband have ended the marriage as soon as he began to develop feelings for someone else?
We have God amongst us now.
How he about he had kept himself to himself. You know him being married.
if I had to be thankful that my H "chose" me over an OW then told me he was "pining" for her, he would be out the door so fast his feet wouldn't touch the ground
this is the mistake Op has made
she has clung onto her marriage and engineered it so there are no consequences for her cheating husband
in actual fact, he is enabled in the luxury of "missing" the OW and not even bothering to lie about it
after all the lies he has already told...he could have told just one more
but no, it is waaaaay more important that his shitty feelings remain centre stage and fuck those of his downtrodden wife
So, the OP should throw her husband out then - she has the choice, I'm just presenting another side to the story which I think does reflect human nature - people do fall for other people when they shouldn't - there's no suggestion that the husband's a serial philanderer - I don't suppose he wanted this to happen - he got too close to someone he shouldn't have - he ended it - he told his wife the truth.
Everlong, from what we know, he did
The OP has suggested that saving her marriage is important to her - I'm just presenting an opposite view to LTB
yes, she should throw him out if she ever wants him to truly acknowledge the consequences of what he has done
loss will sharpen his focus, that is for sure
enabling his wallowing will only hurt her more
He did what? Keep himself to himself? No he didn't he had an EA and kissed someone.
To me that would be the end.
Poor OP is understandably hurt after 7 months, she's heartbroken and cries still.
Why? Because of her shitty H.
Why are you defending a man that does this?
Because I don't necessarily believe that the husband is shitty - and just because for you, it means the end of the marriage, it doesn't mean everyone agrees with you.
Clowns--you advice is a pile of dog shite.
Are you the OP DH???
I've made my point to the OP, and I hope it presented an alternative point of view - there's no point for me to keep at it. I hope she comes to a resolution
But the OP isn't happy or does that not matter?
OP must swallow her unhappiness to save her "marriage" it seems
Of course that's not what I'm saying
Oh no I'm not (let's not go panto)
He is sorry but not sorry enough for my liking.
what do you want him to do to satisfy your need ?
your throwaway comment "well she could just leave" followed by lots of man-pleasing reasons why that would be tremendously unfair to him says very much otherwise
This is madness.
What do you suggest the OP do then?
She's struggling to trust him, still cries often, feels heartbroken.
He is still pining for the OW.
Well, that would be a misinterpretation
I don't know the full story - all I'm saying is that I would hope that they would be honest with each other, keep at the couple therapy. They've been together 20 years, and in that time, as far as we know, this is the first time something like this has happened - as hard as it is, being honest with each other probably is the key - but I repeat - I only know part of the story.
OP, your DH is still wallowing in the affair by going to see a therapist about it. This is totally unfair to you - it's cruel. Either he is committed to building your relationship up again or he is not. The only way your relationship can recover is if he takes full responsibility for the affair and works on fulfilling your emotional needs from this point on. It sounds like he is not doing this.
If you want to rebuild a new Christian marriage then I feel the support of your church will be vital, and I think you need to talk to someone there as LadyPeter says. Don't feel embarrassed - this is his shame not yours. Not telling anyone in your church community is cutting you off from emotional and spiritual support that you both badly need.
I also think the advice that he should move out is sound.
and so do I when I read threads like this. OP you deserve so much better than this. Does the OW belong to your church too?
OP, the reason he doesn't seem sorry enough to you is because he is not sorry.
If he truly were sorry he would not need counselling to deal with his emotions over this woman.
TBH I would be astounded if this was really only an emotional affair.
This might be harsh but you either need to kick him out or accept it and move on. Allowing him to continue with his appalling behaviour and enabling his selfish moping is only prolonging your agony.
It's a cliche, but he's not sorry about what he did- he's sorry that he got found out, he's sorry that he doesn't get to live out his little fantasy life , he's sorry that he doesn't have the excitement of his sordid affair- he's sorry for himself.
He's not sorry about how he hurt you. He's not sorry that he's wrecked your marriage. And, given that he's supposed to be a Christian and involved in the church, he doesn't appear to be sorry that he's violated his own religious belief system.
He won't give you a sign that he's sorry, because he has absolutely no need to be sorry. He's cosily ensconced in his own house with plenty of home comforts; he knows that his wife doesn't believe in divorce so he doesn't stand to lose anything; his social circle and faith community don't know what he did, so he isn't getting any objective opinions about exactly what he's done wrong. He has free rein to duck out of his emotional commitment to his marriage so that he can mope around the house doing the lovesick puppy act.
You have your faith , but that doesn't mean you have no choices about your own life. I'm so sorry that you are having to put up with this horrible situation.
No other woman is not from our church or any church. Yes this is the first time this has happened in our marriage. No I don't think he's a total shit. He made a big mistake though (which he admits too) and the consequences have been huge. I don't think it necessarily must mean the end of our marriage. We'll see.
Clowns - thanks for your view. Its good to hear other side too.
Will def mention situation to people I trust in the church.
I'm going to advise you to have therapy of your own with someone completely unconnected with the church. It is an absolute breach of ethics that you are seeing the same counsellor on your own as you are seeing for couples therapy. A more professional counsellor who abides by the Code of Practice has no agenda to save relationships at all costs; they are trained to be neutral and objective with no specific outcome other than to increase emotional wellbeing in the client.
What you are describing in your husband is ambivalence, probably brought on by the affair's (in his view) premature ending. Many emotional affairs lead to physical affairs and as there was some physical contact between them, it is likely that it would have progressed accordingly had you not found out.
The very best remedy for ambivalence is loss, whereas the worst is feeling safe. Right now, your husband feels safe and complacent and he hasn't yet felt any losses. This is a mirage of course because he has lost your trust but at the moment, he hasn't appreciated the ramifications of that and even if he had, losing your trust doesn't pain him as it should.
So in addition to more neutral and professional therapy, I would be inclined to ask him to leave for a while so that you can think about what you want from life.
I'm with Sendingintheclowns, actually.
I also think that if what you want is for him to demonstrate that he is sorry more strongly, with some form of gesture, you should tell him that. I completely understand how you feel and why you would feel that. He might not, but if that's what you need, that's what you need.
For me, I can see how someone could have an EA, even in a relatively healthy relationship. The real killer here is that he isn't bending over backwards to make it up to you.
But you have said that this wasn't a healthy relationship anyway and you have been in counseling for years. It shouldn't be this hard, really it shouldn't. You shouldn't be making ANY effort at this stage, he should be doing all he can to win you back.
And fuck that "pining" shit - who the actual jeff does he think he is??
yy to him still feeling safe as houses, safe enough to "pine"
OP, you say "the consequences have been huge" - no they haven't, not for him.
He needs to leave - that might be "consequences" enough for him. He might then actually feel some remorse
but I doubt it tbh
My DH had an EA 7 years ago and at 7 months I felt exactly the same as you OP.
It took a long time and lots of talking to get to where we are now which is a calmer and more gentle marriage. I love my husband and now know that he loves me. He broke contact with the OW and now cannot believe he was so stupid, she never wanted him really and was only interested in money, as soon as that dried up she was off so perhaps that made it easier for me to deal with.
FWIW I'm very glad I stuck around.
For me l always think an EA would be harder to forgive than doing the dirty deed itself. Take the emotion out of a relationship and what have you got - a shag basically - so the emotional part is by far the most important element and makes it a relationship(though l accept that sexual incompatability or lack of sex can be a deal breaker in even the strongest emotional relationships).
If my DH were ever working away for a long period and succumbed to physical temptation and had a one night stand which meant nothing to him and he immediately regretted, then l would be absolutely gutted and incandescent with rage and would struggle to forgive him, but l daresay we would have a chance of survival.
If OTOH he came home after six months and l found he had been having deep conversations and laughing into the wee small hours every night with an OW but had fought his feelings and kept it in his trousers out of 'loyalty' to me, but was now missing her, then l would say that he might aswell have taken it to the next level as that would be the end of us definitely.
OP what do you think would have happened if he had not been caught out?
Good point Cheryl l have just scanned through and l don't think OP has said how she found out but it does sound like he was caught out rather than confessed.
Hope you are ok considering today OP. Keep your chin up.
Maybe I've missed it - was he caught out, or did he stop it and own up? That makes a big difference
Hi, having been in the exact same situation as you, I would recommend 'How Can I Ever Trust You Again?' By Andrew G Marshall it was very helpful to us both. Me and my husband are over 3 years past his infidelity and still together. You are still in very early days, and still after all this time it still occasionally hits me like a tonne of bricks. I did share with our Paster and very close friends - people who loved us both - it only stayed amongst them and sensitive support was offered to us both. People do get divorced within our church and this is accepted and never judged.
OP I'm very sorry that I don't currently have time to read all the responses so may just be repeating what's been said already, but I would suggest you think about counselling, either for yourself individually or as a couple, of a mixture of both. Don't be down on yourself for thinking you "should" be over something like this after a certain period of time - there are no hard and fast rules. Best of luck.
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