Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Can I forgive this much deceit?

(708 Posts)
alphacourse Tue 25-Jun-13 06:45:07

I am trying to figure out whether I can stay,have couples counselling, and try and work things out. Or....whether it is just too much betrayal and deceit. My mind swings between the 2 on a twice daily basis.

Background: DP has cheated on me with 2 women. He met with each one 4/5 times during my recent pregnancies. He has also met up for drinks with a few more. He met then through married affair websites.

I found out about the websites 10 weeks ago, and about the women 3 weeks ago. He followed the usual script of denial, deleting, minimising etc. Then I was contacted by a woman and he had to come clean.

He has started psychotherapy to deal with his issues. He says it was about the buzz of getting girls to be impressed by him.

How do I work out what to do for the best? Obviously he is desperate to work things out. I am prepared to listen at the minute. We have 3 DC. 2 are very small. Help me to make sense of this please!

something2say Tue 25-Jun-13 08:03:46

I work in the field of people changing.
I have also changed a lot myself.
It takes years to effect deep change.
Also the person has to want to themselves.
It sounds to me as tho your husband is going to do this because he got caught rather than because he wants to for himself.
Therefore the impetus may not be there to last for years and push on through when not bothering would be easier.
I also wonder if leaving, or making him leave, would send a big loud message about who you are and where your lines are.
This is about him not you. Nothing to do with you.
X

alphacourse Tue 25-Jun-13 08:07:31

I agree that wanting to impress strangers is such a loser thing to do. When he met them they stayed at expensive hotels (in excess of £200 per night).

I have been for sti testing. All clear. He is awaiting his results.

He has behaved outrageously. He had been on these sites for just over 2 years. He doesn't really have friends. He really doesn't like who he is. I believe that he is ashamed. I believe he wants to change.

AnyFucker Tue 25-Jun-13 08:09:14

He's certainly done a number on you sad

But do you like who he is? I wouldn't. I wouldn't fancy being married to him either.

No. He wants to have his cake and eat it.

AThingInYourLife Tue 25-Jun-13 08:18:15

Whether he wants to change or can change is irrelevant really.

Your relationship is with the man who treated you like a piece of shit on his shoe so he could do as he pleased at your expense (financial, emotional, physical).

Maybe the man he turns into one day might be worth something.

But you don't know that man. He doesn't exist now, and may never exist.

Fozziebearmum2be Tue 25-Jun-13 08:21:18

I agree with others-it's about whether you can forgive and forget (assuming he wants to change and does). And if you could both truly rebuild your relationship as a couple from this -if you could I'd expect you'd be in the real minority.

For me, any cheating would be a deal breaker, I would drive myself mad with wondering and watching.

A couple of bits spring out for me-2 years..! This isn't one or two lies but hundreds and thousands he's told you over this period.

Also that he doesn't have anyone else, he may be wanting to work at this for fear of being alone than truly loving you. How did he keep it secret if he doesn't have friends to cover for him?

Hope you come to the decision which is right for you thanks

If you leave him, you will be fine. It will be scary but your kids will thrive where mum is happy and not worrying about dads whereabouts.

AnyFucker Tue 25-Jun-13 08:23:08

he doesn't like women much, this bloke

alphacourse Tue 25-Jun-13 08:23:09

Sorry for the short posts - doing school run with DC1. What I am trying to work out is whether me finding out could be the catalyst for change? I told him to leave. He has been away for a few weeks, but moved back in at the weekend. I kept blacking out, and had a fit on Friday night. I think it was a combination of stress/not eating/not sleeping. I am aware that I am still post-partum. DC3 was only a few weeks old when I found out.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 25-Jun-13 08:27:43

He could have counselling from now till hell froze over.

He could, actually, change.

But you. You would never quite know whether to trust him would you? You'd never quite believe it. You'd never quite believe when he went to the pub with his mates that he wasn't fucking another stranger. (or worse) You'd never go to bed before him calm and convinced he wasn't logging on to some wank site as soon as your head touched the pillow.

Like I imagine now you don't quite believe there were only 2 women. Because I certainly wouldn't. They were the ones you found out about.

This man despises you. Actually, no, he doesn't. He doesn't care enough about your relationship even to despise you. He just doesn't even consider you. You are nothing to him.

But from your posts I don't think for a second you will leave him. You are already defending him by referring to his self loathing. He doesn't hate himself. You hate yourself. Or you wouldn't allow yourself to even consider staying with this pathetic excuse of a human being.

flowers

beachyhead Tue 25-Jun-13 08:29:05

I hope you have managed to tell your RL friends and they can support you at the moment.

I'm sorry but I think he's sunk to such a level of shittiness that even if he improves, it will still be shit.

And I think he knows that too.

You need to protect yourself by asking him to leave.

Moxiegirl Tue 25-Jun-13 08:30:39

That's a good point how did he manage this when he has no friends to lie about being with?
I agree with the posters who say if he wants to change, fine, you don't need to be with him while he does this.
Also agree this is because he got caught and couldn't minimise it due to overwhelming evidence, so had to go for the 'i will have counselling' route.
You deserve more.

alphacourse Tue 25-Jun-13 08:33:09

I don't hate myself. I am considered very attractive. I am very well educated. I have a high level of EI. I know I would be OK on my own. If it was just me and him, of course I would walk. Even if it was me/him/dc1. I think when you have such small children (2 under 2) you try and see if there could be a way through though. This morning I feel very LTB. But I don't want to make an emotional decision.

PamDooveOrangeJoof Tue 25-Jun-13 08:34:34

He was on the sites for TWO YEARS? Oh darling, be kind to yourself and get out. Let him be somebody else's problem. What a horrible, horrible man.

I know you must be feeling super vulnerable with such a young baby... Hormones flying. But you know what you have to do.

I don't blame him for not liking the person he is. He shouldn't, he's a horrible, selfish, arsehole.

Why should you have to put up with a life watching and wondering what he is going to do next? Or feeling like you are not good enough? You don't have to...

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 25-Jun-13 08:35:34

You can still hate yourself if you're pretty and clever.

Let's call it lack of self respect then.

I'm not goading you, honestly, yours is one of the saddest most awful posts I've read for a while.

But this man of yours is serious pondlife.

woollyknickers Tue 25-Jun-13 08:36:58

Personally, I think that you should consider separating while he goes to counselling. This will really show you how committed he is to doing all the changing that he keeps talking about. Let's face it, while he's still at home with you he doesn't have to deal with ANY consequences of his, frankly, shitty behaviour towards you.

Plus, it'll give you a chance to maybe get some individual counselling yourself, alpha - to talk through how you feel about what he's done. It doesn't sound as if you get much chance to do this at the moment, as your partner has managed to make the situation more about him - how HE hates himself, how HE wants/needs you to forgive him, etc, etc.

He's been spectacularly selfish, on a number of occasions. At the very least, its time you had your turn to do the same.

AnyFucker Tue 25-Jun-13 08:37:08

how you feel is all you have left, love

an "emotional decision" is completely the right one to make

Albiebee Tue 25-Jun-13 08:38:17

I'm so sorry, what you are going through must be terrible. Good luck to you and your lovely babies.

This sounds very, much like my parents relationship when I was a child. My father never really changed, his relationships were always more about him than anyone else. Sound familiar?

Let's face it, relationships are power plays, a good relationship is where you and your partner have an equal honest and fair partnership. You have not had that for two years, however he spins it (and he sounds like he has whacking great problems not simply or quickly resolved by therapy).

You have been manipulated by someone playing by different rules for a long time. That is not an honest, fair relationship. You are not a team. You were on your own and didn't even know it.
I am very sorry for both of you, and of course you must decide, but I suspect you already know the answer, it sounds to me like your relationship is already over.

Do take care of yourself and make sure you have support from friends and family. They need to know what you are going through.
x

alphacourse Tue 25-Jun-13 08:38:21

He got away with it as he owns a company. He has evening meetings sometimes. 2 times with the first woman was in afternoons. The other times were evenings. He stayed overnight with each woman once. I found out about one of the websites and one of the women. He confessed to being a member of another site too, and the first woman and also meeting 3 others for a drink. He confessed to sending photos to one of the women.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 25-Jun-13 08:40:26

There are going to be many many more of these women that he hasn't told you about. You do know that don't you?

And a lot more sex than you know about as well.

Whocansay Tue 25-Jun-13 08:42:30

He has destroyed the trust in your relationship. I HATE his excuses though. I mean, did you ever need to get a 'buzz' from fucking around? Why did he decide that was a priority at a time when you needed him? And I take it he spent family money on these posh hotels?

As others have said, he's only sorry because he was found out, not for what he did. And he would do it again.

I'm so sorry. Only you know if you can forgive though. It easy to say LTB when it isn't you.

PamDooveOrangeJoof Tue 25-Jun-13 08:43:19

Do you want to teach your children that this behaviour is acceptable?

A daughter will learn to put up with a man that shags about... A son will learn it's ok to be a shagger! And the cycle will continue evermore.

Just two women in two years? Really?! You don't believe that do you?

And then he will probably leave you at some point anyway.

Take the power back. Kick him out. Give him the impetus to change. Perhaps in another two years if he has shown himself to be pure as the driven snow and a changed, committed family man, the maybe, just maybe you could take him back.

But let's face it, that would never happen and if it did, you would be so far moved on he wouldn't see you for dust.

If he leaves it's a win/win situation. He will either get the kick up the arse top change, or he won't and you will see you made the right decision asking him to leave.

alphacourse Tue 25-Jun-13 08:46:01

I have my first individual counselling session this saturday. It has been hard to arrange as I EBF DC3. You are right - it is all about HIM! His needs. His wants. I have effectively shelved my needs/wants for a couple of years to birth/feed/raise our children. Every text/email/message/meet up has taken time and attention from ME and us. I think I am spending so much time and energy trying to work out what the truth is about what happened. Trying to piece it together and understand WTAF he was thinking! We had a really good sex life. He has a problem communicating.

Wellwobbly Tue 25-Jun-13 08:46:30

Hi Alphacourse, I have lived your question for 4 years (discovered the cheating in 2009, also 2 years, he is ashamed, in therapy), so I think I am qualified to answer it.

Red flag no1: he has no friends
reg flag no2: he is ashamed.
red flag no3: he did it for an ego boost (his own admission)

Shame is NOT remorse and it is NOT repentence. (Very old fashioned words, very important dynamics). Shame is the other side of the toxic void that he tries to cover up with the buzz of having his ego tickled.

After 4 years of 'reconciliation' (where he carried on being exactly the same as he was before), and being warned by my IC that he was a narcissist and would not change, and finding out OW yet again, I am filing. But it hasn't been a wasted time (except the trying to connect with him and the hope), I have changed a lot myself.

They don't change Alpha. If they do change they do it despite being left (and work to come back to you).

I know you are not going to hear me right now, but I advise you to stop investing in this person and certainly stop hoping that he gets it. Oh, he gets it, all right. Entitlement and using people.

Chumplady: Veronica Sawyer: Heather, why can’t you just be a friend? Why do you have to be such a mega-bitch?
Heather Duke: Because I can be.

From the movie “Heathers” (1988)

Why do cheaters cheat? Because they CAN. It’s that simple. Do you need more of an answer? Okay. Because of greediness. Because of narcissism. Because of a lack of empathy for others affected by their shit decisions. Because they value ego kibbles more than they value your well-being. But the reasons simply boil down to — greed, opportunity, and not caring.

One very common mistake the Cheated Upon make is believing it is all way more complicated than that. They will invest all their energy in a pointless exercise trying to figure out the cheater — their FOO issues, their astrological sign, their addiction issues, their birth order, their purportedly low self esteem. (Newsflash — they don’t have low self esteem. They actually DO think they are better than you and more important than you.)

Figuring out the cheater is energy directed at THEM, which is energy deflected away from YOURSELF. You’re asking why they are this way, instead of asking yourself the harder question of – why am I hanging around this megabitch who’s not my friend?

I call this stage “Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness.”

The skein is impossible, but by GOD, you’re going to unknot it, piece by piece, make it linear and you WILL understand it.

Untangling the skein of fuckupedness is a coping mechanism. You want to figure out what makes your cheater tick so you can ensure that they never do anything so devastatingly hurtful again. If it’s their FOO issues with their mom, well, you’ll call and make that counseling appointment for them. Untangling the skein is codependent behavior. Not only will you make the counseling appointments, next you’ll get your magic marker and highlight all the relevant chapters in the affair books you bought for them on Amazon.

Stop it! Stop it right now! It’s not your job to figure them out! You only get to figure out YOU. What your values are, what you will tolerate, and what is acceptable and unacceptable to YOU. That’s it.

Most cheaters are very invested in you getting lost in the skein of their fuckupedness. Hell, they don’t have to invent an excuse for their behavior, you’re doing all the work for them. There is nothing they can say by way of explanation that is not self serving and self pitying. The only thing a cheater can do is DEMONSTRATE they have remorse through their ACTIONS. Preferably a very generous divorce settlement. Failing that, a very generous postnup.

An explanation is not a balm. Getting lost in the skein prolongs your pain. Better to move towards acceptance. They did it because they COULD. So… now what? That’s on you.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 25-Jun-13 08:48:05

You know you need to split up. He's been no husband to you.

He may change but it would take years and he may still not be trustworthy. You say you can manage on your own - can you ask him to leave?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now