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Contacting the OW? Do I?

(201 Posts)
3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 21:39:27

I am a regular - lurker more than poster - but the time has come for some MN wisdom of my own. In a nutshell, my H disclosed his affair with a work colleague to me nearly 10 weeks ago. His confession was due to having been discovered at work and both of them losing their jobs. He had to tell me to explain why he had lost his job. He knew this was coming for 3 days before telling me so had deleted all evidence (much of the affair had been conducted via work emails rather than text anyway. And he was careful through out). He also told me that he met with her after discovery at work to get their stories straight for the possible investigation. But that they didn't discuss their stories to other halves.

Since D-day he has tried to give me 'full disclosure', gone complete no contact with OW, respected my need for space and then been around when I needed to shout at him, been very hands on with the DC, is apologetic and remorseful etc etc.

However I am struggling with the lack of evidence to back-up his story. I can't access his old work emails, the texts have gone (mostly immediately upon receiving/sending them as he's never hidden his phone) and most of their lunches/drinks were paid in cash so no card or bank records. Obviously he is a very proficient liar as I had no real suspicions of the affair - I had other concerns but did not believe he was cheating.

Basically the only source of info/evidence I have is her. And thats not likely to be 'accurate'. Do I call or text??? She is also married but no DC. Her DH doesn't know. Given that there has been no contact (well that I know about!) is it better to let sleeping dogs lie?? I'm tying myself in knots - have called her number several times but either she hasn't answered or I've hung up.

Any views on what to do for the best? I know I need to get 'closure' on the details of the affair before I can move on. hmmconfused

Cravingdairy Sun 07-Jul-13 23:04:36

Please don't blackmail the OW. She could report you to the police. She could also report you for harassment if you keep ringing her and hanging up. Destroy her number, she can't give you what you want. Sorry you're going through this.

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:05:08

I don't know! In my darker moments (of which there are lots!) I'd probably think that she is sticking to the story they put together 10 weeks ago. Or that they were still in contact - although I have complete visibility on his phone, tablet, home pc so I'm 99% sure they're not in contact.

Fairenuff Sun 07-Jul-13 23:08:22

Ok, so just from following the logic (which is probably eluding you at the moment) you would gain nothing from contacting her. At best, she will tell you the same as him, in which case you still won't believe either of them, and at worst she will tell you there was more which he hasn't told you about and you will feel even more betrayed.

Leave her out of it and concentrate on yourself. What do you want? Do you even like him any more?

justgivemeareason Sun 07-Jul-13 23:10:22

What more of the 'truth' do you need to know? If he says they had sex once, and they actually had sex twice, does it make any difference? If it went on longer than they said, does it matter? How would you know which one of them is actually telling the truth?

I think you are right to suspect you don't know half of it. However, I personally wouldn't want/need to know all the gory details. He was unfaithful, can you trust him any more? that's what you need to deal with.

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:16:25

Rather annoyingly I do still love him. But no, I don't like aspects of his character at all. He has been in counselling for his issues since Feb and changed from completely useless counsellor to a much much better one within a week of D-day. Not wanting to 'blame the parents' he has had v poor modelling - serial adulterer dad, forgiving mum, H told to keep his father's dirty secrets. Also he has low self-esteem issues (history of redundancy, bullying at work) which I know is a cliche.

On the other hand - he's always been brilliant with all 3 DCs, turns up for school things, does lots round the house, gets home in time for me to go out etc. My only local RL friend who knows what's going on was shocked initially as she thinks 'he really loves me'.

imademarion Sun 07-Jul-13 23:17:43

Might you be able to use the old SIM card? But do you really really want to know what he said about your marriage in order to justify betraying you?

IME, there'll be a lot of incredibly thoughtless and downright untrue stuff there as he gets carried away portraying himself as the shiny new person he'd like to believe he is. Seeing your relationship being trashed so he can get into her pants won't be edifying.

I think a PP got it right asking if the affair would still be going if they hadn't been busted.

And, gory details and disclosure aside, what do you really want to happen?

Because if you stay together you need to work on shutting those questions out and looking forwards instead of back.

It can work, with broad shoulders and lots of understanding and willingness to forgive.

But raking up the details won't help.

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:25:30

It's impossible isn't it! I don't really want to read all the gory details and I appreciate that I've been spared some of the horror that others go through. I also realise that the OW owes me nothing and is also a liar. This is not her first infidelity (according to my H) so she's got issues too. I just want some external verification - just having his word is not enough when his word is worth jack-shit!

I did raise the 'I don't believe him' issue in our MC session a few weeks ago but didn't mention contacting the OW. Our counsellor said I'd never get the whole truth and that I needed to find other building blocks to start to rebuild our relationship with. Basically that I need to work towards letting go of the 'investigation' stage to move along the process.

laeiou Sun 07-Jul-13 23:35:09

Ok I have to say, transparent, really? He only told anything because he was forced to. He didn't have an attack of guilt while enjoying a family day. He didn't own up when discovered at work. He waited until the last minute and deleted evidence. Why delete it?

I am not surprised that you don't trust what you've been told. Why would you? If he hadn't lost his job, if he'd just had a warning then you still wouldn't know. But the ow can't help with any of that.

Have you both been tested for STIs?

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:41:54

Laeiou - you're right about telling me. I've said all of that him. If he'd just had the warning he accepts that he probably wouldn't have told me. She was supposed to be leaving anyway, he claims they were 'de-coupling' already from end of March and that he was hoping it would have all gone away. I said that's nonsense and that once she'd got a new job they would have met for lunch, it would have rekindled and so on. His response is to deny that and says I can't worry about 'what if', we can only deal with what actually happened. He is sorry though - and says so when we have these conversations.

LemonPeculiarJones Sun 07-Jul-13 23:42:34

He's a liar. He betrayed you. Don't be forced to minimise this by a Marriage guidance counsellor.

You don't need to work towards anything right now, he should be the one doing the work.

It may not be his first infidelity either.

He has covered his tracks so thoroughly and now he can sell you the most minimal version of the truth.

Your desire for information from the OW simply highlights that you cannot believe him. You don't believe him. Your instincts are telling you he is continuing to lie about the details.

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:51:18

Lemon - part if the Pandora's box that has been opened with this crisis is having to deal with an EA he had 5 ish year ago. He was 'unrequited'. I tackled him about it 4 years ago when pg with our 3rd DC. I don't think either of us dealt with it properly.

I don't want to drip-feed but one of the reasons I'm struggling with him telling the truth is that he lied to me a week or so ago about whether he had watched porn whilst at his mother's. He said not, I checked the history on his tablet which proved otherwise. hmmhmm He said he denied it because he was 'embarrassed'. Bloody idiot - both of us, him for lying and me for believing Him. My radar must be well broken. But I don't want to get led into a 'porn thread' though as that's not my real issue.

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:54:41

Didn't mean to capitalise "Him" in my last post. He's not God, ha bloody ha. wink

3HotCrossBuns Sun 07-Jul-13 23:57:01

How do those that have been betrayed get over/past/through the lack of trust then?? I know there are stories of people who manage to rebuild their relationships after infidelity. How do they do it??!?

Zynnia Mon 08-Jul-13 00:01:57

why does the counsellor presume you 'have to' rebuild the trust? that sounds so laboured, and so fake, and so impossible really, given that even when you're both at counselling he's lying.

counsellor should dedicate a session to what happens if (quite justifiably) you can't trust him again.

I think "you must find ways to rebuild trust..." that makes it sound like your shortcoming.

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Jul-13 00:04:43

I'm so sorry, OP; I've been in your position and it's a really horrible place to be.

I wouldn't believe that they only slept together once, for a number of reasons.

One is that she'd had an affair previously and hadn't died of the guilt, so it's extremely unlikely that having had sex with him once she wouldn't do it again. He's also had an emotional affair which suggests he again wasn't stricken by guilt.

Please don't confuse the guilt he feels when he looks at your distraught face with the guilt felt at doing something but not being found out.

Also, how likely is it really that they did sleep together once? Statistically, what are the chances of them both losing their jobs over a one night stand?

You know he can lie to you. I do believe you when you say he's decent in other ways, but the fact is that throughout your relationship he has looked you in the eyes and lied to you about something that he knew would break your heart.

Don't bother asking the OW, although I can understand why you feel the need to. She didn't want the relationship to end back in April. There's a chance of her husband finding out now. Your husband will be her plan B - she won't say anything to make him turn against her.

I don't think people change. I wish they would, but I don't believe they do. He will do this again, you realise that? Whatever validation he's been getting from these women has made him happy enough to take enormous risks. Would you gamble on him never doing it again?

3HotCrossBuns Mon 08-Jul-13 00:09:36

I'm not sure exactly what she said - but it was that basically I wouldn't ever get the 'whole truth' and that I should ask myself why I'm asking him certain Qs (ie would the answers be helpful/unhelpful) as, at that time, I was interrogating him a lot. And he was getting angry and defensive so we were going round in circles. I took it to mean that I would have to find alternative solutions for my reliance on verifying his story being my way of starting to rebuild our marriage.

Yes he does need to do a lot of work. Recently he's been getting quite fed up though - I have said to him that i accept that our relationship wasn't perfect before but nothing justifies his cheating. He agrees but, I guess, is a stage ahead of me and wants to move forward.

Sorry if my posts are confused. I never seem to finish one thought before the next one jumps out of my head!

3HotCrossBuns Mon 08-Jul-13 00:17:18

Imperial - cross post. Your message was hard to read but reflects my darkest thoughts. He has admitted he felt almost no guilt during the affair in our latest MC session. Awful to hear but he didn't need to say that, at least that was a truthful response. He says that he's not been physically unfaithful before, that his behaviour has shocked and sickened him and that the upset he's caused and repercussions are so catastrophic that there's no way he'd do this again. Hmmmmm

And no I just don't believe it was only the once. That's what I want to ask the OW. Perhaps I could just text her that one question.....

How can someone who's so attentive and loving and invested do this?? I don't understand.

LittleFrieda Mon 08-Jul-13 00:17:59

Why have they lost their jobs?

Zynnia Mon 08-Jul-13 00:19:08

yeh losing their jobs is fairly extreme. not a warning, verbal or written but straight to dismissal! were they shagging on the premises?

Zynnia Mon 08-Jul-13 00:22:29

was the counsellor not saying to him that he has to tell the whole truth now or all of the counselling is just going to be meaningless and pointless???

3HotCrossBuns Mon 08-Jul-13 00:26:22

Those were my questions at the start of all of this. Apparently another employee had made bullying claims against the OW who had made counter-claims. In amongst it was allegations of 'inappropriate behaviour' by her with my H so he got dragged into it. His boss said it was 'unfortunate' it had come to light via an official complaint. H told me they had 'kissed' in the office on 2 separate occasions after work drinks. They will have used their passes to get into the building hence not being able to deny that behaviour. I think they shagged then as well as the occasion he has confessed to but he strongly denies this. i cant work out why he'd lie about that if he's said he'd shagged her in a different occasion. Also lots and lots of inappropriate emailing.

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Jul-13 00:26:50

I think they find it easier to switch off, so that when he's at home he's your husband, when he was with her he was her boyfriend. It's only when the two worlds collide that he gets confused and unhappy.

Having an affair is a huge adrenaline rush, which makes it worse as he could obviously hide that excitement from you.

I don't think joint counselling is a good idea. I know when I was in your position (more than once) I felt as though I'd been bereaved. I was also in a state of shock - I hadn't actually realised what that meant until I was there myself. So I would stop the joint counselling and go yourself. If he wants to go, he'll have to sort that out himself.

I think what's happened is that he sees the consequences of his behaviour as you being mad at him. He's like a child, trying to stop you from yelling at him. The consequences should be a complete removal of yourself - either physically (ie kick him out and say barely a word to him when he comes to pick up the children) or mentally and emotionally if you have to stay in the home. So you don't sit and watch tv with him. You don't tell him about that phone call you've had with your mum. You don't chat. You don't ask how he is. You don't sleep in the same bed. You go up to bed when the kids go to bed and you stay there.

It's up to you, but at the moment what you are subliminally saying is, "I hate the fact you did this to me and I want to talk about it again and again." Your message should be, "I hate the fact you did this to me and I don't want to speak to you ever again. You are no longer my friend, my husband or my lover. You are a person I cannot trust and do not love."

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Jul-13 00:28:07

He is minimising. They all do it.

I'm so sorry. I don't want you to think I'm putting the boot in. I'm really not.

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Jul-13 00:29:49

But hang on a second.

The OW is bullying another woman. The woman being bullied makes a formal complaint and says "And not only that, she's been kissing X"?

So the boss says, "OK, sadly the OW and X now have to leave the company."

Really? Really?

3HotCrossBuns Mon 08-Jul-13 00:36:31

Really Imperial? That's tough! It's been such a rollercoaster I think I've done everything every day!! I threw him out of the house initially which seemed to do the trick of huge remorse from him. Then we had half term and one of my kids' birthdays so we presented a united front for their sake. Cue a few weeks at home with awful, unbelievably bad arguments. I was beyond rage with him and he felt under constant attack. He did detach emotionally at that stage which was hard. I then said he had to go for all our sakes. He took that as the first stage of actually separating. It was awful, the most miserable week ever. Then I had my accident and he's been home ever since. He's doing all the loving, supportive husband and father stuff and I was beginning to feel better - although we still have bad times and I have been blaming myself for the whole thing. I just can't get past this 'need' to verify his affair story and having ever stronger desires to contact the OW. He's in my bed and we've been together lots. Not sure I could detach myself now hmmhmmhmm

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