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.
Our post-affair discovery discussions continue...(62 Posts)
It's been 2 1/2 weeks now since I found out and I've been mostly calm (which seems to spook him) and sad. We are being friendly and honest and have been talking a lot. It helps that it was a short affair and finished over a year ago. He is what I would describe as a workaholic (18+ hour days, laptop on holiday, never takes all his holiday allowance etc), and I have never felt that I and the DCs come first.
So our talk tonight ended in me saying:
" I feel really sad because I realise that you never loved me enough, otherwise you wouldn't have had an affair, and you wouldn't have always put work first. I want you to understand that although I may have given you a hard time about working all the time, the reason was I always wanted more of you. All I've wanted for years is to spend more time with you, and for you to want to spend time with me".
And he said:
"What did you want to do? You never said 'let's do this' or 'let's do that'..."
I was so upset by this reaction that for the first time ever I asked him to sleep in the spare room, and he is completely baffled as far as I can tell. Am I too cryptic and does he deserve further explanation? Is it obvious to you that he's completely missed the point thereby confirming everything I said? I really wish this wasn't happening to me, it's rubbish
You would only be playing games if you were blowing hot and cold for effect.
You won't be. You'll be (rightly) recognising that the discovery of an affair is a crisis, and that it is important to take the time to process the information and make decisions about your future when you are ready to do so. And that might take weeks/months.
You need to look after yourself, and consider all options carefully. This is usually best done without a wandering spouse hanging round. Separation doesn't have to be final - you can make whatever decision you think is in your family's best interests.
That makes sense.
It's a bit scary. What if I detach myself then come to realise I don't care? Then it could all be over and I can't help but see that as a dismal failure
You can't second guess your decision. These are the things you need the time and space to work through.
One thing I would point out now though is that his flaws do not make you a failure.
You may have recognised dissatisfactions in the marriage (and I bet you'll see them with a different focus now), but you weren't the one who just bailed out, were you? And you were dealing with a limited and flawed man who was simply not was committed to the marriage as you.
What?? You are making yourself stay so engaged in case you come to your senses?
Do you realise how fucked up that sounds?
You are also giving your h too much credit. He wants you to back off for his sake, not yours
Hang on, are you married to my husband? It's a bit spooky to read your story, and further goes to extract some of the drama from my situation by realising that my circumstances are far from unique.
I don't really have much to add as I'm still working through things in my head, but it might help if you read my thread. It's not too long but I still re-read it regularly, especially the later parts where it became obvious that his idea of fighting to save this is very different to my own.
There is so much advice out there to keep communicating. But this is ludicrous when you are dealing with a liar and a manipulator of situations. Yes - stop being his only friend...and let him spend some time wondering and working out what's going on. His affair is not about something you did or didn't do...it's about his actions. Read your last comment - even here you're still putting him first...and you have to promote yourself to that first place.
DHtotalnob, I'm not sure if it's better or worse to be part of a tired old cliche! I read your thread- what's your situation now? I would like to either rewind time to stop all this crap happening in the first place, or fast forward to a point when it's all resolved one way or another.
I just have to break the habit of thinking about him and his happiness which I've been doing for a year because he was so miserable. Everyone's advice really helps me focus on me instead, thank you x
Exactly, Loving, I wasn't exactly first place for him! Second after work for a long time, then relegated to third. Nice.
He's looking to rent a flat near to work and feels ambivalent. He is already checking out of the relationship. Let the fucker go.
This is not your failure. It's his failure to be a decent human being.
Sounds like he's doing eff all to mend this, to reach out, to try to connect emotionally.
Please respect yourself and focus on the reality of who he is now.
It's horrendously hard but you can have a fantastic future on your own terms, and with someone new (should you so wish it) who won't fuck around behind your back - someone who responds to you emotionally.
I know Lemon, and this thread is gradually helping me to realise this. But it's really scary.
I am very lucky in most ways: I have lots of good friends nearby, two beautiful little boys, a loving and supportive family, and he will I know give me plenty of money. We even have another, smaller house where I can live. At least I have choices and I'm not alone...
Another thing to think about: when the affair ended, did you notice anything different about him? Did he recommit to the marriage and put noticeably more energy not spending his non-working time with you all as a full participant in the family?
I suspect not. Which means the "permission" (and consequent withdrawal from the marriage and family) remained in place.
Glad the thread is helping LetsGo and that you have strong support structures in place.
Still horribly scary though I understand. Keep posting and working it through in your own mind. You deserve so much better than this.
OP, other than what he tells you (and look where that has ended up...) what evidence do you have that this affair is over, that OW is pg, and that if she is, the baby is not your H's ?
The man is a liar. I am not sure why you are taking everything he says at face value.
In the words of good, old Dr Phil, you are either in the marriage or out of it, no halfway house, no room for ambivalence. He found the time to arrange to meet and shag OW etc, etc. this was one of the things that upset me about my DH's affair, he was always too busy at work to take me to lunch, leave early to have time with the DCs etc, but somehow in his busy schedule found time to text, take out to lunch/dinner/shag OW . It's all about their priorities, self entitlement, arrogance etc nothing to do with you.
One of the things that made me realise that DH did want to fix things was that he (after discovery of the affair) reassessed everything, booked the babysitters and restaurants, booked the family holidays etc ie he put in the time and effort to do these things and did not expect me too.
You need to put yourself first now, let him navel gaze and get on with your life, and consult a solicitor if you haven't already done so (it will make you feel more in control).
I am sorry that you are going through this, OP. I haven't read all of the thread but I do know that men seem to have different 'timelines' to women. what I mean is that if this happened a year ago, in his head it is dead and buried but as you have only just found out, it is all new to you.
I am wondering whether that has anything to do with his frustration and seemingly non-commital answers.
I don't condone his behaviour, by the way.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
If the affair ended a year ago and he's been miserable for that year, it sounds like she dumped him when she got pregnant. That also explains his ambivalence towards you.
There are no positive signs here at all and what you need most of all I think is a chance to assess whether you'd prefer life on your own, properly separated from him. In practical and even emotional terms, it doesn't sound as though there will be too many losses for you if you end the relationship. But telling yourself that you're single and independent and actually being those things will make a world of difference to your own emotional health and your future life.
I think this is what he wants to happen too, but he wants you to be the one to do it.
What if I detach myself then come to realise I don't care?
OP I suspect that despite all the theorising, the self-help books, the vain attempts to elicit the textbook 'I'll do anything to get you back' reaction from him, underneath it all you're not gutted and it's more about the public perception that you've failed? If you can make sense of the above, could that be true?
You know it's over don't you? Don't waste your time trying to get him to react the way you think he should be reacting, it isn't going to happen. This marriage is not his priority.
Now that he's moving during the week, it's easy, just tell him you want to formalise it. badinage is right: the actual formality of making the split official and being your own person will be great for you. It's the right thing...
You might be right. I think 'But I'll be a single mum who failed at her marriage', 'I'd have to tell the neighbours, explain to an estate agent...', 'when I go back home all the people I knew at school would judge me'.
I know it shouldn't matter, and it won't once I get used to the idea.
Er, you didn't fail.
He failed you.
Out of all the people you knew at school, the same thing will have happened to some of them, another bunch will have had affairs themselves, some of them will be in unhappy marriages and the ones who got lucky will have nothing but sympathy for you. Anyone who would 'judge' you for someone else's shitty behaviour really isn't worth headspace or oxygen.
Are you sure you not projecting your own pre judgements about single mums onto your own situation ?
You know this isn't a good marriage. Staying so you won't be "judged" is ridiculous, and is akin to martyring yourself
Nobody really cares, you know. So there might be a bit of gossip. Tomorrow it'll be someone else in the firing line and your news will just be metaphorical chip wrappers
badinage, you are right.
Eggy yes I am, I am working on being less judgmental!
I feel I have really come a long way in 24 hours, thanks to everyone's wise and (sometimes brutally!) honest comments.
Yes, you have come a long way
Sorry to not acknowledge that fact x
You know love, if he was doing all the right things and was showing he was truly sorry and wanted to repair the damage that he caused to himself, to you and your marriage, then my advice would be completely different. I do think couples can come back after affairs and have seen them do it.
But if there's any sniff of ambivalence or if the OW/OM has done the dumping, I don't think it ever works. I also think it's more unlikely to work if there were seemingly intractable problems even before the affair, like your husband checking out of family life for years beforehand.
You have come a long way if it's only been a few weeks. I can really understand the initial instinct to want to keep everything the same and save the marriage when these things happen. But it's really valuable to question why you're doing that and to realise that actually you don't have to. It also takes some insight to realise that even if you want to save the marriage, it's going to be impossible because you'd be doing it on your own.
When a man has checked out of his marriage you probably don't even rank 3rd in his list of priorities.
You just become the mother of his children.
Sometimes you have to accept that the relationship you have is not going to work and you have to work out the best way of finding a way out.
Join the discussion
Please login first.