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Advice needed - OW problems resurfacing.(125 Posts)
My husband of 22 years had an emotional affair about a year ago. A woman friend (married without children) came to him and told him she was in love with him, had been forever. He / we were going through a difficult time with work, money shortages, his mother dying and general day-to-day shite. They had lots of things in common and she said that they were soul mates, destined to be together blah blah blah. She said she knew how to help him find happiness ( yoga teacher) and that her love was 'unconditional'. Like an idiot he got hooked on the escapism and flattery. It went on for a couple of months; clandestine meetings and a kiss. It all came to a crashing halt when I felt suspicious and listened to a message on his phone, telling him that her husband had found out and had asked her to leave. DH admitted what had been going on and I was absolutely devastated. He wrote to her severing all contact the next morning.
Since then has undergone a year of counselling, endless soul searching and as a result everything is much better between us now. He's even started going to church - bit weird for me as I don't go, but I can see it helps him. It has been a very, very rocky road but one that we've both tried very hard to steer a course on with the help of the brilliant Shirley Glass book. He's far from innocent is this but I do believe it was a strange period of madness that he regrets very much. We've managed to keep this from the children. So far so good.
That is until last week. They both work in the same street but he has managed to avoid any contact for 12 months. Last week she flipped in the street, shouting that he couldn't treat her like this and that she could make everything very difficult for him. She insisted her love had been 'unconditional' and had never meant to hurt anyone. This is in spite of her husband marching her to the park and showing her a family with young children, pointing out that this is what she was trying to break up. She said to DH that he 'must hate her to treat her this way'. Actually he's scared that if acknowledges her then I will be upset and we will take a step backwards. In order to calm her down he said that he didn't hate her but he had to go. She calm down immediately. He came back, got himself into a state about it and then told me. It's all feeling a bit bunny boiler. A friend of mine says she's nut and needs to be 'managed', i.e we need to stop ignoring her. This fills me with dread in case she tries a range of irritating spiritual hypocritical excuses to worm her way back into our lives. What do you think? By the way, I hate her with the fury of seven hells ;) but I know it's not good for me and I look forward to the day when she is a dim and distant memory.
Izzyizn, you make a really good point about the micromanaging, it's just that if DH felt he had to speak to her about fucking-off, then he wanted to be sure that her husband knew it wasn't a cosy chat. I think I got mentioned so that everybody knew what was going on. Remember - the adrenaline buzz of this relationship was the deceit. I think the year thing was the trigger. This is the first time in 22 year this has happened, so I don't think it's a habit. (Plus her husband is a sanctimonious knob ssh)
The OW had an affair too, so i wouldn't feel too sorry for her. But I do get that it is easier for the Op to believe her H rather than her.
That's an excellent summary.
Sorry that was rude of me to address other people first. I must say that my first insctinct was that there is probably more to this than he has told you, but that thisncould develop into a stalking situation, and I would want to keep a close eye on that, as others have said.
Badinage, again more good points. Yes, she is dead 'woo zen'. I did feel hurt at the time that he didn't say 'I'm ending this because I love my wife' but to be fair he was all over the place then and I don't think he knew how he felt about anything, particularly me. He said that all his feelings felt dead, which makes me think he was depressed. His mum had been ill for a very long, awful time, which is no excuse but goes some way to explaining his unhappiness. You have to remember he finished it because I found out, not because he got tired of the adrenaline buzz. I think you are absolutely right about what the OW thinks. But because he's a man, he doesn't understand the need to explain feelings ( sorry for the generalisation, but it's often true). When she stopped him in the street and began the ranting, he did say pretty much what you've suggested, although he was caught off guard.
You are making a lot of excuse for him. I'd have thought that a prerequisite for trusting him again would be that he actauly stops being crap about expressing his feelings and tries a bit harder.
Jamieandthe MagicTorch - do you mean like going to a counsellor weekly for a year? What about joining the local church for answers? Do you mean like that?
What about you?
Have you got closure?
From what I've seen in RL, people in your situation need to know they've got the whole truth and they need to know that the OW or OM was told exactly what this was and why it had to end.
I don't get the impression you've got that, even though you've done a good job convincing yourself what he's said was the truth. And if you want the OW to know the truth, this is an opportunity that not many people in your situ get. I hope he didn't/doesn't waste that.
I think lots of women in the OW's position don't get closure either. She obviously hasn't or she wouldn't be behaving like this. I don't think he has to be cruel, just honest with her. Tell her that this was a mistake that he really regrets and that he's just as much to blame for it as her. It's much better for the two of them to have no hard feelings for eachother and to be hard on themselves instead. It's of much more help to you and her husband if they take their halves of responsibility for this. She seems to have been blamed by everyone and from an objective point of view, that doesn't seem fair.
How much independent proof do you have of what happened, or is most (all) of this your H's explanation?
The "drama" element is absolutely key imo.
Some people get off on the idea of their (multiple) love interests scrapping over them and declaring undying love and all that. I suppose it boosts their tiny egos that little bit more.
I'd check.out the church thing too.
OK. That may have been unfair.
If he got depressed again or if life was hard has his counselling enabled him to have a different response - to talk to you rather than seeking solace from another woman?
What do you think he gets from church? Do you think it is the uncritical acceptance the OW was , apparently, offering him?
Interesting. It may be that unconditional acceptance I suppose. Personally I think love IS conditional, unless you are talking about children. The people at the church are really nice and accepting. His brother came out as a transsexual a couple of years before their mum died and it was difficult for him to accept that his 'brother' was gone. Acceptance of difficult truths has become horribly familiar to him.
Also women have always flocked to him - the more off-hand he is the more they seem to love him - and I had to learn to become very trusting, which is why this particular betrayal, after such a long time, was so very hard. Badinage I don't think I'll ever have complete closure to be honest, but this doesn't mean that i plan to shortchange myself. I insist that the attention I get now is top quality! Before all this I thought that if DH was ever unfaithful then I would end it. The last year has taught me a lot about myself, mostly that you don't always behave how you predict. I mourn the loss of the old 'us' but like the new 'us' better. I like the new 'me' better. Hatpin - I don't have lots of documented proof. I did see a number of emails - hers long and lyrical, his not much more than a series of grunts. The counsellor ( married, devout, old) was connected to the church, so that was the link.
He doesn't know whether to blank her, glare at her or say "Perhaps I should explain....."
Jamie - I think he is learning to confide in me. I know that sounds odd after such a long marriage, but we all have different coping mechanisms. He kicked a 30 year marijuana habit at the same time as ending the affair. Weed enabled him to cope with his feelings, putting a cloud over them whenever things got hard ( she felt she could save him from this too). He stopped it himself because he felt it stopped him from solving his problems on his own. It has been an intense 12 months in the life of an imperfect man. It has been a success story really, because the odds were stacked against us. I just don't need her crazy shit when I can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Aw jeez. You couldn't make it up, could you?
The well-respected stalwart pillar of the community has a long standing relationship with the 'erb and was caught allegedly before he got his leg over with a female
contortionist yoga teacher...
Bring back the Screws of the World.
Don't forget to let him know that
when if it comes to divorce, you'll be compelled to spill the beans when you get religion and feel the urge to confess all to the assembled congregation.
<waves hands gospel stylee and cries 'Hallelujah'>
I'm not very comfy with the tone of some of this thread. It's not really a jokey subject is it, a poster's devastation?
If I were in your shoes love, I think I'd want him to 'explain' but only if I could trust him to say the right thing and thought that would put a stop to it all. Maybe that's the problem though. He should have rehearsed 100 times over what he would say to her if he bumped into her and although I think it's fair enough that you've got an input into this, you might have more respect for him if he'd handled it with aplomb.
FWIW I do think some people are a bit vulnerable to this sort of thing when other stuff in their life is going a bit belly up. And I think couples can get past this as long as there's complete honesty and changed ways.
Also women have always flocked to him - the more off-hand he is the more they seem to love him - and I had to learn to become very trusting
and you are still having to train yourself to trust him, in the face of very good reasons not to, aren't you ?
nope, not a laughing matter
and certainly not a matter to be swept under the carpet
OP, your defensiveness here, and your excuse-making for your husband's frankly crap and dodgy behaviour is very concerning
Izzyizin - I don't plan to divorce him - I love him. Why else would I go through all this? A long marriage is about the good times as well as the bad. No, I can't say we have had a boring life but we've always tried hard not to hurt anyone else. It's not really very funny. I don't think I would laugh at someone else in this situation. I was asking for advice, not ridicule. Drug addiction, Leukemia and infidelity aren't the first thing that spring to mind when I'm looking for entertainment. Badinage - thank you for being kind.
I don't think it's defensiveness. We've grown up together and noone is better placed than me to decide whether he is to be trusted or not. Yes he's made mistakes but he isn't a bad person. He's a terrific father for example. He's the only person who can have me laughing until I feel sick. Is this me being defensive or trying to be honest? Should I throw that away because of a stupid mistake? So far the worst he has done in a 20+ year relationship is have a brief fling and smoked rather than drank. It doesn't make him fecking Hitler! I'm independent minded enough not to jump on the ' leopard can't change his spots' bandwagon, or any other kind of bandwagon for that matter. Remember - I'm a year down the line and I've got a perspective on this that I didn't have at the beginning. I'm a lot stronger and more experienced than you might imagine. I don't need advice about handling him, I wanted advice on handling a weird OW!
It might be a bit of defensiveness, but I think that's maybe understandable the way this thread's gone. I think it's right that posters were querying his version of events but if you know the OW yourself and you've seen E mails and the like, you've probably got a lot more to go on than a lot of people going through something like this. The thing is love, don't let any of those instincts to stick up for him when he's being attacked on here, get in the way of you getting the advice you need for yourself. That's the most important thing. And if there's stuff you're still not sure about, don't feel you can't say so eh?
Oh, I dunno
Presumably you trusted him before this sorry episode began ?
in which case, you were mistaken < shrug >
you are blaming the other woman, instead of blaming your duplicitous partner...a common mistake
it's also common to fall, back on the "he's a good father" cliche
and Les dawson made me laugh, but I wouldn't have wanted to be married to him
there...now shoot me down and make me the villian of the piece for criticising your man (if it makes you feel better,and is easier than facing up to facts)
She has no children, is approaching the menopause ( yes she's older) and has lot of time to think about this. Her husband is away a lot and she thought that DH was the man for her. I've known her for a long time and you would think she was sweet and harmless, but apparently not. I know all of this is hard for people to believe, but she is not a normal person. She believes she operates outside of the rules of normal society and guilt does not feature. Meditation provides her with all the permission she needs. It's all very unusual but then a lot of the people we mix with are! Jeesh. DH hates any sort of confrontation so this is his worst nightmare, but I guess it's a bed he made. I don't like the way she's started glaring at me though.
sigh Anyfucker - I DO blame him, but I have to live with him. He hasn't stopped her in the street, but she has, disturbing the ground again with crazy behaviour. Yes he was duplicitous but he's tried really hard to make amends.NO, I will never trust him in the same way again. Should he give me blood? What exactly do you expect him to do? Being a good father isn't a cliche, it's important if you want to have happy children. And I do.
I think it's perfectly possible to move on with a relationship after adultery. I know someone who forgave her DH an affair and they then had a further 15 years of happy marriage before he very sadly died.
Many many people have affairs, whether full or just emotional and people do rebuild relationships after infidelity.
You know him best.
To answer your question, I think he should try to avoid her entirely from now on and if she confronts him he should just say 'good morning' or something similar and walk on. Otherwise, I would ignore it.
to you - sounds like a very difficult year or so.
Thanks Lostonthemoors. It has been. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
A year on, he should be dealing with this/have dealt with it
instead, he is wimping out and letting this OW into your life again
You are the one on an anonymous website, looking for support a year on
what is he doing ? Telling a couple of jokes and playing with his children.
'Course he is...he got off scot free and has two women glaring at each other in the street and fighting over the prize that is him
he is the centre of this seedy little drama...and you have him right there in the starring role
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