Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
More upset by 'The Script' than the infidelity. Anyone else?(63 Posts)
This has the makings of a very long post so I'll try and be as brief as possible and avoid giving too much away about my RL self.
We have been together 12 years, married for 8 and have 3 DCs under 5.
Found out a couple of months ago that my DH had had a 13 month long affair. It ended 'physically' in the summer but they have stayed in very regular touch through daiily texts, favours etc.
At the same time, I discovered that a week after our DC3 was born he had joined a website and had been sexting other women and meeting a couple of them for sex.
All bad enough....but the thing that I am most pissed off about is the utter load of crap he has spun me since their affair ended!
We were getting along well and had just come back from a nice holiday, I was 6 months pregnant with a planned for baby when suddenly overnight he appeared to have some sort of breakdown....couldn't sleep or relax and then started with the old "Wasn't sure if he loved me, he wasn't happy, I was obsessed with the children, showed him no love or care, I didn't make any effort for him, he hated our house, the village where we live, wanted me to give up work as it was my shift work making him so unhappy (I am the main breadwinner)."
We had counselling which just didn't seem to help with any of our apparent problems(!) I just couldn't recognise the marriage that he was talking about, but I tried really hard to take on board what he was saying and we had regular date nights, let the children sleep over at relatives a bit more, stopped doing anything 'housework' related after DCs in bed (like folding laundry, washing up) as apparently I was obsessed with housework.
Meanwhile, his drinking escalated to 2 bottles of wine per night + and he would either get so drunk that he would pass-out on the sofa or he would pick an argument. Thankfully it was usually the former.
One night, I saw him drunkenly put his password into his phone and I discovered everything. I threw him out a couple of days later (once I'd collected the evidence) but he has pulled the "It's my house too, you can't throw me out" line so now we are living together as 'co-parents' with seperate bedrooms.
Since then he has changed. Suddenly, he is really attentive, adores our new baby, does his share of household tasks, massively interested in everything I have to say, is having psychotherapy, is open with his phone and laptop...
Although I am incredibly hurt by the affairs and the physical relations, I feel that I could possibly forgive him. I had a 6 week long affair 6 years ago (no sex) so I can appreciate how a friendship can turn into something inappropriate that is difficult to end. But I am really struggling to get over the 'script' that he has spun to me over the summer/autumn especially as it has coincided with the birth of our lovely baby.
So, (and thanks for sticking with me this far, I have left a lot out) anyone ever had any similar feelings? I feel really daft for considering forgiving the infidelity but not the emotional abuse. Most of my friends and family seem caught up on his actions rather than his words but this is what is hurting me the most.
I really don't think the intention is to hurt. We just don't feature (I wonder if that makes it worse). I have always thought this is on the pain scale of ...
well, you can't talk about taking the pin out of a grenade, because you KNOW what will happen if you do that! A tiny little pin, a huge explosion...
They are so wrapped up in it neither of them think (and there IS resentment and self-justification in it. IC calls affairs an act of aggression). But the pain is enormous, can anyone think of an analogy to explain the lack of intent to hurt, and the hurt actually caused? It is so disproportionate I can only think in terms of nuclear explosions, what is taken away from you by adultery. Innocence being the hugest, I think.
I tried to say the same to XH, how would he feel if somebody had done this to him, but he just couldnt grasp it. Like you say, they cannot show empathy, because to do that would be to admit that they have done something terrible, which of course they cannot possible accept!
What they seem to fail to grasp is that their partner's feelings will be pretty similar to their own if the situation were reversed. This is not because they're too stupid to understand that, but because they don't want to, because that would involve them really facing up to the enormity of what they have done. So any little instance of their - deeply wronged - partner showing that things are not wonderful, any mention of what happened or indication that they may still be carrying the scars, will cause annoyance, resentment.
is a Pullitzer Price discription. Not a word out of place. Thanks for putting it so well.
We are - but he wants to take the 2 oldest DCs away for the weekend. He keeps saying "Mummy can come too" and they look at me expectantly. We can get along ok when we stick to the safe subjects.
Anyway, he has moved some of his stuff out today. Big stuff that was taking up lots of space and says he will move out once the baby is weaned.
Why would you want to do anything with him this weekend? You're meant to be separated aren't you?
Are the lines getting a bit too blurry here?
Whoops! Didn't mean to press the 'post' button!
I had a look at those links. Really interesting stuff and lots to think about.
We had a very intense conversation just before my counselling session about what he had said to me over the summer. Had he meant any of it? Did he mean it at the time? etc. Painful to hear but it has helped me to realise that I won't be the woman he wants me to be - Good luck DH with finding a woman who is willing to put her partner before her kids, love you unconditionally and be delighted with you even when you're sat on your arse surrounded by dirty clothes,remove all her body hair AND wear her sexy pants everyday! He did admit that a lot of it he had made up just to hurt me...mainly about me being a rubbish Mum.
The counselling went ok (first session so a lot of story-telling) and I think we will be able to work together. Have booked another session.
Thanks Jux that is exactly what was happening right at the time of your post! Are you in my house? He is annoyed with me because I don't want to sleep in our campervan (their love-nest) with him this weekend. "How can you hold a grudge against a piece of metal?" even though a couple of weeks ago he said he would sell it because he knows it's a big deal for me - and he's admitted it would be for him too.
I wonder how the counselling went, muddy? Hope it was both useful and not too painful.
In case it hasn't been all that clear yet, many of your respondents have, like me, ended up doing a humungous amount of therapy because the answer to your question "Why the fuck did I let him ..." turned out to be more complicated than what I outlined last night. It isn't always so.
Investigating one's own thought processes, emotional triggers and psychological profile can be pretty uncomfortable. Anyone who does it is, imo, much cleverer and braver than people who blunder on regardless, stirring up the same shit time and again. Your H seems to be one of the latter. You're the former. Right there, you have a compelling reason to believe you are, in fact, too good for him. You certainly deserve better!
Hope you're feeling all right
IME some people - some - think that once a semblance of normality has been restored after a transgression, then that's it. Business as usual. No further effort required, except maybe a few chores.
What they seem to fail to grasp is that their partner's feelings will be pretty similar to their own if the situation were reversed. This is not because they're too stupid to understand that, but because they don't want to, because that would involve them really facing up to the enormity of what they have done. So any little instance of their - deeply wronged - partner showing that things are not wonderful, any mention of what happened or indication that they may still be carrying the scars, will cause annoyance, resentment. "What, it's not over YET? Haven't I just done the washing up for you? For heaven's sake, talk about unreasonable."
I think you know what you need to do. Good luck. You will regain your joie de vivre, you will be fine and so will your children.
It is a good move, muddy. Having a professional listener to help sort out your thoughts & feelings can be an absolute blessing when your life seems to be tying itself in knots.
FWIW, the answer to your question may simply be that you love, trust and respect your chosen partner - as every decent person does - and reasonably assumed he was the same. When he started acting weird, you probably didn't want to think "the worst". That's normal, if not helpful.
As soon as you've opted for the Just World fallacy (which tends to feel right at the time, mainly coz we want it to!) you're setting yourself up for cognitive dissonance. After going through all this and seeing the light, you'll have plenty to congratulate yourself on: it takes a bit of moral strength. And then ... you'll be a little more sceptical, a lot more self-protective, and wiser to red flags and boundaries. It's not such a bad outcome really, especially when you think how much common sense you'll be able to teach your DC
Good luck. I hope you find the right counsellor for you first time!
That is how I feel chavvytastic that all those months, all those happy times and happy photos are lies. I keep looking through messages that I've sent him over the last 18 months saying "I hope you're having a good time on your night out" etc... And now realise what he was really up to!
But it isn't that, he was having an affair. Of course he was going to lie and cheat. They were in love/lust and it was exciting and he was flattered...but why did he agree to try for another baby?! He agreed the first time I mentioned it (we were on a weekend away together). Why did he have to take our children to meet her whilst I was at work?! Why did he let her by them presents? Why did he have to fuck her in our campervan? (she was single and had her own house).
But mainly why the fuck did I let him convince me that his breakdown was all my fault?!!
I have followed the advice of a previous poster (sorry can't remember who, I'm on my phone) and I'm seeing a counsellor tomorrow to try and work out why I would let somebody treat me like this and how I can prevent anyone from doing this to me again.
My xh had an affair last year. We have 3 kids, been together 13 years and he lied/gaslighted about it the whole time claiming mid-life crisis etc.
We considered making a go of it because of the kids and length of time we were together but too much damage has been done. We spent Jan living together but it's just not workable long-term. I need to try and get to the point we are amicable for the kids sake so I decided to make him leave so its easier for me.
I thought I loved him but having read up on emotional abuse I think it was hysterical bonding rather than love.
See a solicitor and make him leave - sorry but I dont think you can go back from this.
If its contact with the tiny baby you are worried about then maybe you could agree to him coming to you for that?
I really think the combination of everything he's done is just too much to forgive - how dare he be annoyed with you.
Hi, ImverySad. AF's reply earlier was for you: "He keeps his phone and internet use from you because he is up to no good. Going off his previous behaviour, I think that is obvious." Sadly, your husband is an overbearing, cruel man who believes he has absolute rights over you while owing you nothing, not even respect or honesty. A lot of what posters have written on this thread could apply to you, too.
What you might find is a biggie is how well he's treating you now. For if he felt love and respect and was prepared to act considerately, why wasn't he doing this all along?
It's a huge area of conflict in an attempted reconciliation.
Meanwhile, for as long as you are under the same roof, make sure he really is pulling his weight as a co-parent, and get yourself time to go and do the things that will strengthen you - whether that's wailing with a good friend, or rediscovering activities that make you feel good but which the demands of children all too easily squeeze out from daily life.
And AF is right- no way would I tolerate secrecy now. In fact, giving up any signs if possible secrecy has to be the number one deal dealer from day one after discovery.
He really is a prick. I did post about my own h but yours is way worse.
It's true, he really is all me me me. Out of interest, the changes you made to yourself after counselling are great, but also suggest that you were given some blame for his various infidelities. I hope you know that even though you may be responsible for some of the pre existing problems, you were not the reason he did what he did
He isn't making much effort, but he thinks he is making bucket loads.
You are a skilled and capable woman and long term you have loads of opportunities to think about exploring some of the poorly signposted but available career paths now opening up for nurses.
Do you really want him in your life?
You deserve better and sooner or later he should leave. Why wait until its on his terms ... It all seems very much what HE wants. Make him leave and move on with your life.
Oh dear he sounds very me me me.
Its hard. I know I found it easy in the early days to carry on with the big elephant in the room. It was easier than facing up to the fact my life as I thought it was - was over/didnt exist any more. I wanted the my husband, the "happy family unit" etc I thought we could get through it.
Looking back he did try initially although there were times I doubted and became suspicious and asked/demanded to see proof of certain things and he declined - that was 12/18 months on from discovery. He always had a "good" excuse to decline my request but really - an honest man with nothing to hide, desperate to get their marriage back on track would surely bend over backwards to proove they were on the straight and narrow. That spoke volumes.
I now look back on the past 5 years and beyond (when he was cheating but I was blissfully unaware) and my life seems like a lie. I look at old family photos of us all on birthdays, days out and holidays and just think "what a sham - he was shagging someone else around that time". Seeing the pics hurt because I was blissfully happy. I look back and nothing in my life was how I thought it was. Thats how it feels.
The bottom line now is I look at my husband and I know I have lost all respect for him. In my mind he must have really hated and resented me to do what he did over and over and over. I don't think that is fixable.
My honest heartfelt advice is to get out and move on but I also know how bloody hard it is to actually do that - hence me sitting here leading a life that could have been very different and a lot less bitter.
A man who alternated between taking his wife to the maternity unit and his lover to the abortion clinic is despicable and you need to throw him out.
Other than murder I really can't see how much lower he could sink - and I wonder why you think you have to spend time with him.
Leave him to rot on his own and take care of yourself and your children.
Another poor indicator is that he's not remotely sorry.
Oh no wait, other than feeling sorry for himself.
Someone who has done a terrible thing they regret does not get angry with the person they have hurt for daring to be upset.
His behaviour is that of a man who thinks he has a right to have his multiple infidelities overlooked.
They can't be forgiven. Because he is not sorry.
I do think marriages can be mended, but it's only going to happen if both parties are totally committed to it and will really understand the scale of the task ahead of them. And the wandering partner has to take 100% of the responsibility for the damage they did (especially why they baled out to third parties instead of working at the primary relationship) and has to step up to the mark to get the healing of that well under way before you start looking at the 50/50 responsibility for the state of the marriage beforehand, which will have had good and bad points for both.
The lies, and the way that cancels out of a months of the marriage, is really hard to come to terms with. And his refusal to leave, to give you the time and space to process the information and work out whether he has any place in your family's future is a poor indicator.
He keeps his phone and internet use from you because he is up to no good
Going off his previous behaviour, I think that is obvious
"What have I actually done to upset you this year? I am trying my best to be a good husband"
This fucking year?
That's six poxy weeks.
This self-indulgent, bullying prick thinks he gets to decide that everything g has to be OK now because he hasn't cheated on you, got another woman pregnant, out you and your baby at risk of disease, hooked up with randoms from the Internet in the last few weeks?
He is not trying to be a good husband.
You have told him your marriage is over.
The family he is coercing you into maintaining is a sham.
It serves nobody but him.
Yet again the rest of the family are being sacrificed so he can get what he wants.
He is not a good man.
He is horrible and he is damaging you and your children.
See a solicitor and start the process of getting this whiny, self-obsessed prick out of your house.
He is a leech. Sucking you all dry.
Join the discussion
Please login first.