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Your help was invaluable....(18 Posts)
I posted recently about how I was on the verge of having an affair... I know it is wrong and I know I should be in control of what I am doing and feeling but I am still finding it hard. At the moment it is still 'virtual' because he is overseas. Although I have no doubt it would be classed an affair from what has been said. We email/text/chat/FaceTime. It is an old boyfriend who I always thought was the love of my life and still do. The thing I need help with is this...please....how do I get him out of my mind? Time hasn't healed (20 yrs later) and we hVe been in touch again now for nearly a year. I have lots of distractions (including 2 kids) but they just aren't doing the trick for me and I want to know how to get him out my mind and stop thinking and wondering about him. Or do I just accept that as for the last 20 yrs I will always think and wonder. My husband is a good man and cares about me and we are having counselling at the moment as things have been going downhill for about 1.5 yrs. I like him and get on with him but don't fancy him or feel any passion for him. In my last posts I wasn't sure where this 'affair' was going and obviously was told in no uncertain terms it should not go anywhere. It hasn't. But how do I get him out my mind and fancy my husband again? I find myself crying all the time about it ...making breakfast, picking the kids up etc and I just wish I could get him out my head. I'm inexperienced at posting so please forgive if I've missed anything etc but last time all your words were so helpful...both the supportive and not so supportive ones. Thank you
Can you do a link to your first thread? I think i remember it. I don't think i posted.
From what you have said here, OP, i think this all stems from how you feel about your DH. How is the counselling going?
Also, how long is it since you stopped contact with the old BF?
If your heart is not in it, no amount of counselling will make you fancy your DH again. A 'good man that cares' does not make him the right man .... no crime in making a mistake. Lots of people daydream or fantasise in order to make a humdrum or disappointing life more exciting... there is no crime in that either. However, what is not acceptable is keeping that same 'good man' hanging on while you make your mind up how you feel about him. That is simply cruel
So I would recommend two things. First is that you drop the communication with your overseas friend for at least six months. If they are a friend, they will understand. Second is that you have a trial separation from your DH and understand properly what an independent life looks like where you are not reliant on one man or another for your self-worth or happiness. I'm guessing that you haven't spent much time in your life single. Build your self-confidence and self-reliance, get to know yourself and then work out what it is you actually want.
Hi, what you are doing is an addiction. You are confusing an addictive thrill with love. Your poor H simply cannot compete with a heady fantasy.
1. Go cold turkey.
2. Download Linda J MacDonald .com 'what will you become?' Read it. Read it again. She lists what is happening to you, and what it will cost you.
3. If none of that works, separate. From both of them, and live on your own.
4. You WILL regret this.
Thanks for your replies. Really appreciate everything. Have been in tears most of the day. Will try and answer all your questions;
I'm not sure how to link to the original thread? (Especially not as am doing this on my phone to keep it to myself)
Yes this could all stem from how I feel about my OH but the problem is I don't know because my feelings are clouded. We went to Relate over the summer 'term' which didnt really help and right now I am having counselling on my own as I am so confused. Am trying to work out if the ex is filling a gap in my marriage. I am feeling very confused.
I asked for a separation over the summer but he wouldn't hear of it. He works very long hours (leaves 6.30am and home 8/9pm) and he said I should move out and I said that is ridiculous because I am a sahm and for practicality and for the sake of the kids I should stay with them. He also said that he doesn't want to separate because he is pretty sure that will lead to divorce. (He doesn't know I am in touch with the ex).
We have decided to hold on the separating now because one of the kids has important school exams in January and we don't want to cause havoc and mess him up. At all. Least of all now.
I guess that is what I mean by 'he is a good man'. We get on. He is a good dad. A good husband. A good provider. Yes, he leaves dirty underwear around and doesn't empty the dishwasher but overall he is a great husband I guess. Just no passion. About anything. Not just sexually.
I know I should cut contact and that is what I am having trouble with. I just have no idea how I would get him out of my mind when I haven't been able to for 20 years. I know that sounds pathetic. I have thought of him so much over the last 20 yrs and fb stalked him, googled him, even thought about hypnotherapy to forget him (apparently that wouldn't work). I've spoken to counsellors about him in the last few years too. I have never got him out of my system and wonder if I will ever or do I have to accept that?!
Thank you for the book recommendations. If I download it on my iphone will my husband see from itunes account?I will try and have a look for it now.
off to amazon
Thank you for your replies and comments. Really really do appreciate it. I know I need to stop this but am feeling very desperate over how I will ever be able to get over him.
I have lots of distractions (including 2 kids) but they just aren't doing the trick for me
You have two children. Children are not supposed to be a distraction, you are supposed to be putting your heart and soul into raising them to be functional adults. Instead you're spending your time mooning over some 'ideal', and it definitely is just an ideal--the reality rarely matches up.
At the moment, you are wasting precious time out of your children's lives and I'm sure they won't thank you when they're older for you seeing them as merely a 'distraction' in their formative years, because I'm sure the time you're giving them now is not quality time.
Just get real would be my advice. Concentrate on the things in your life that you have, and are very lucky to have. If you want to end your relationship that badly, do move out as your DH suggests (you're the one it's not working for), but rushing into the arms of someone you've placed on a pedestal who will never match up, is not the solution.
It really would be unfair of you to expect your DH to be the one to move out OP.
In your mind is the deterioration of your relationship with your DH a result of your obsession with this ex?
Or do you think the obsession with the ex is a result of the mismatch with your DH?
Or are they unconnected?
Be honest with yourself.
How do you feel when you picture yourself moving out and forming a life without your DH?
I think that the obsession is possibly a result of being unhappy. I had a small crush on someone else last year but it was nothing other than in my mind. Or possibly unconnected. I've been unhappy in my marriage for about 2 years. OH refused to go for counselling until this summer.
Re the separation it is hard. I see how it is unfair to make him leave but as the sole carer for the kids and a sahm who has done everything for them for their whole lives I couldn't contemplate me moving out. He usually doesn't see them for more than 5 minutes during the week only at weekends.
Perhaps I used the word distraction loosely when referring to them. They are more than a distraction. They are my world. But yes you are right, I am not 'here' for them at the moment.
I know what I should be doing and what I would like to do I am just having trouble getting my heart to follow my head!!
You don't need anyone's permission to separate, so all this stuff about 'he wouldn't hear of it' is crap.
You could leave your marriage tomorrow if you wanted to.
But it would mean you'd have to be independent and manage your own finances. It might mean you'd have to get a job and give up your SAHM status and you'd have to get used to your husband having the children for chunks of time.
I expect that's what you don't want and so meanwhile you think you're entitled to have an affair while maintaining that lifestyle you don't want to leave.
You've wasted a couples counsellor's time all summer by failing to admit you're having an affair. Of course Relate didn't work- you set it up to fail big time by keeping your affair secret.
Sounds to me what you're hoping for is that the OM gets on a plane and rescues you, so you'll never have to stand on your own two feet. So that's why you won't give up your affair- you see it as your salvation and preferable to going it alone and living an honest life. Not a good example of womanhood to give to children.
Just be honest with yourself jenny. The only person who's stopping you ending your marriage is you.
It seems to me that this ex represents a time in your life when you were young, carefree with no responsiblities and its maybe this freedom you miss and not really him Iyswim ?
Whatever , the ex wasn't the 'love of your life ' or you'd still be together .
Don't live in hope that you would be happy ever after should you get back with him becsuse I believe reality would hit you hard and you would realize that the grass is definitely greener
NOT greener that should say !
Have you told your current councellor about the EA? Beth has a good point in that the couples councelling was never going to work without the truth being on the table.
You have to face this head on i think now. Enough tears and hand wringing. And if you can for now, separate in your head your marriage problems and your EA problem.
In my opinion (speaking from experience to some extent) you've checked out of your marriage emotionally and i don't think you'll find a way back. Not in the happily ever after sense. You don't love him anymore. Incidentally what does your DH think about your relationship? What have you told him the problem is? He doesn't know about the AE. You havn't said much about him really.
As for the guy overseas ... I would tell him right now you need a bit of space and time to sort your head out. Perhaps 2 or 3 weeks of no contact. Be honest with him and say you have to make or break your marriage and you'll need a clear head to do it. What is he saying about this btw? Is he encouraging you to leave? Does he realise you're thinking of divorce and that peoples lives are going to be affected hugely? Or is he being all 'ooooh, i know we shouldn't but i just cant help myself' too? I'm not trying to sound nasty. It's just that it seems that one of you needs to grow up and piss or get off the pot as it were!
Perhaps rather than going to counceling perhaps its time you should be going for legal advice re: who would get what and who would live where in the event of you instigating divorce. It would make this more real for you and might be the catalyst for a way forward?
Thank you fluffy. Yes I have told my counsellor the whole truth. I have told my husband the truth about our marriage. In a nutshell how I see it is that his long working hours have forced me to become self sufficient and not rely on him to be happy. I have asked him for over 10 yrs to change jobs but he won't. I now make plans with my friends and let him work late etc without nagging but this has led to lack of closeness. He is so caught up in work he has lost sense of self outside work and this unfit and unhealthy etc. don't find any of that attractive anymore including physically.
I have spoken to a lawyer. Makes it real and scary but also gives me full understanding of the severity etc.
Guy overseas feels sick with guilt and is worried about breaking up a family. He pulls away every few weeks because of this which drives me mad. He says we are meant to be together etc etc but can't see a way how.
I can't believe the situation I am in and when I wake at night I am having terrible thoughts
'Meant to be together' is nothing but a cliche OP. Life is really just about actions followed by consequences, be they good or bad. Until you get your marriage sorted (in other words, get out of it), the other guy should not be on your radar.... at all. If there is a decent basis for a relationship between you, that basis will still be there in 6 months, a year...
Your DH may be all the things you've said above but at the end of the day, he's supported you and the children financially for as long as he has and if you're not going to work to change things with him, you need to go out and get yourself a job, stand on your own two feet and separate from him.
I just don't get the feeling from your posts that you've ever made any real effort with your DH, to get things back on track. It sounds like he's working all the long hours to get away from you to some extent. I doubt the current situation is all his fault... after all, if you've been obsessing about someone else for the last 20 years, that's in no way conducive to getting a marriage back on track.
I can't understand why you married him when there was basically someone else.
You might have told the counsellor you're seeing on your own the truth, but you put your husband through pointless couples counselling when one of the major problems in his marriage - your affair - was hidden. That's not fair.
What's the OM's situation then? Married too? Fortunately he doesn't sound as romantically deluded as you do. Maybe he's also starting to feel some empathy with your husband and knows you see him as your Main Fix- and very sensibly he's not prepared to commit.
He works very long hours (leaves 6.30am and home 8/9pm)
* I am a sahm*
he leaves dirty underwear around and doesn't empty the dishwasher but overall he is a great husband I guess
Sounds like you are a very fortunate woman who does not have to work and has too much time to fantasise. Your poor DH working such long hours and still expected to do household chores whilst you waste time communicating with an ex BF from your youth who's DW is wondering why her DH is spending so much time online.
Cut all contact with OM and make an effort with your poor overworked DH. If your 'bond' with the man overseas is too strong then do your DH a favour and get out.
You're getting a bit of a pasting jenny. Well done for staying on the thread.
I get what you're saying about becoming self sufficient emotionally.
My XH took a job which turned out to be shift work. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement as we had 3 DDs under 5 and i was trying to hold down a handful of cash in hand jobs at the time too. In normal waking hours he was always either asleep, at work, or 'having time to himself' because he had either just got up or just got in. I asked him and asked him to change shifts (which he could have done) and i told him many times over the years i was fed up, but his hours suited him as he never had to help with family or practical household stuff (it all just went on around him) and got instead to drift about pursuing his mind numbingly boring hobby at weird times of the day and night. After 12 years of this, of me doing 99.9% of bringing up the DDs and running the house, as well as working, and becoming completely reliant on friends for adult social interaction, XH and i had drifted so fat apart i walked. Cue everyone shocked and horrified.
He worked hard and did the odd household chore too - but this alone does not a marriage make
When i left his main complaint to me and anyone who would listen was that I hadn't tried to make the marriage work and didn't give him any warning! Bloody cheek.
Anyway, sorry about that! That all came tumbling out!
From your last post i feel even more strongly that you should put this other guy on hold for a good spell of time and carry on looking into the practicalities of leaving your DH and clearing this mess up. It's morally the right thing to do, and is better than this unhealthy stagnation that is currently going on. I wouldn't set too much store on the OMs commitment by the sounds of it. Sorry. Discount him in your plans to leave. I think you're going to be going it alone. It might be the making of you though. And you wont have to feel guilty anymore.