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One about a sad pregnant lady married to a sad angry man.

(502 Posts)
izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 14:51:49

Before I start, please don't read this and say "divorce him, he's a shit head", much as that might be outstanding advice it's not an option I want to engage with. What I'm after is help in turning the negatives in my relationship into positives. How do I let go of the grief and hurt, and how do I persuade my husband to stop beating himself up over the protracted affair he had with my best friend (no longer)? I try every day to push the positives in our relationship: we're a good team, we can laugh and have fun together, we have an incredible group of friends that we share, we are going to be parents to a much wanted baby, and when we are both behaving we have glimpses of what used to be - it's easy to be together and we can both see how much the other loves us. However whenever times get tough - work stress, the whisper of tightening belts, having to multitask or balance multiple issues at once then the whole house of cards crumbles and one of us reverts to recriminations and aiming to wound the other. He is under a huge amount of pressure with work, an impending family bereavement, the worry of my earnings disappearing when I go off on maternity etc etc, and I try so hard to keep him afloat. On the days when I fail, as yesterday he rails and I cannot help but bite back. Last night we fought from 9 at night until 3am, and only stopped because our lodger came home. Once he has started he will follow me from room to room, verbally attacking and prickling me until I re-engage the fight. I am desperate to stop the cycle as I am conscious that our marriage is tiny and frail (married 11 months, his affair was on/off for the first 7, and when confronted twice he lied about it) and I do not feel it can stand up to such punishment without becoming a very twisted paradigm of what we wanted when we got engaged.
Please, help me to figure out how to break the cycle of bad behaviour we have both sunk into, I am miserable with him now, and would be miserable without him, but we had something so good and so precious not so long ago, and I want to find a way back to that.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 15:55:21

CailinDana yes, you're right, it's not logical, he blames me for not seeing the early signs, but he did lie twice at the end, when I confronted him after she accused him of having sex with her (from her nice safe spot inside a secure unit).

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:55:31

much as I hold him accountable for thinking with his willy and being weak, he holds me accountable for bringing her into our lives and not picking up on his subtle overtures that all was not well.

Woah. I'm sorry, that is the most utter fetid bollocks.

It's not that his account of the affair is necessarily untrue (though he will, I imagine, be minimising as much as he can, knowing that her account will not be taken as reliable). But he has got a fucking nerve if he seriously holds you responsible for "not picking up on his subtle overtures" that he was being blackmailed into sticking his dick somewhere else. Is he an adult or not?

I suspect you are accepting this "responsibility" as a sort of self-preservation instinct. Because if you're both "at fault", then it isn't just another miserable story of a man being a shit, and the marriage can be saved, right? For all that you explicitly rule out "star-crossed lovers", you are coming across as quite committed to a dramatic narrative that involves faults on both sides, tempestuous rows, can't live with each other, can't live without etc. It's all very fighty and Burton-Taylor. But the brutal fact is, you're not the one who had an affair and lived a lie for seven months of your marriage. He is.

Yes, you need counselling.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Jul-13 15:56:21

My husband, being a man, was apparently not able to fend off her repeated advances, and didn't feel able to come to me because he felt I would be likely to believe her story

shock

And you have been married only 11 months. And despite this affair that happened before you'd barely had a chance to hang up your wedding dress, you still deliberately became PG with this man?

I don't think there is anything I can say to help you.

Xales Wed 24-Jul-13 15:56:25

Six hours following you around fighting. What a wasted life you are going to have.

What is this going to do to the poor kid you are bringing into this? it's not going to get any easier for the next few years when you are dog tired.

He could easily have said no to your friend. He didn't want to. Please don't insult all men by saying they wouldn't or couldn't fend off her advances.

You may not want to be told to leave the bastard however you do need time apart until you are both sorted.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Jul-13 15:57:51

You are in denial about so many things it's hard to know where to start really. Honestly, just read your own posts back and see how you are excusing him and romantising/justifying this appalling behaviour.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 15:58:57

he holds me accountable for bringing her into our lives and not picking up on his subtle overtures that all was not well

I do apologise OP, but you'll excuse while I make scoffing noises, and have a wee laugh at his brass fucking neck!!

Waffling Wed 24-Jul-13 16:01:15

Mind boggling. You're bringing a baby into that?

StillSeekingSpike Wed 24-Jul-13 16:02:16

Your 'friend' was obviously seriously unwell if she is now in a secure unit. And I wonder how on earth she managed to get him to the situation where he was shagging her.
I also wonder how on earth a baby is going to fit into 8 hour arguments, with you two following each other from room to room. Presumably you'll be carrying the baby while he shouts at you sad angry.
It seems an awful lot of your anger is being diverted towards your 'friend'- and his anger is diverted towards you for not 'rescuing' him. Which would be fine, if you two wanted to carry on like this. But what about a poor bloody child, who deserves a bit of security and attention and quiet??????

Bakingtins Wed 24-Jul-13 16:07:13

This is supposed to be the honeymoon period! There are going to be a lot of tough times over the lifetime of a marriage, you need some strategies to deal with them without attacking each other. Having a first child is a very difficult period for many otherwise happy couples, it's a massive readjustment of priorities and roles. Anyone can be lovely/loveable on a good day, when they are on their best behaviour, but their true character is revealed by how they react under pressure. sad

As for having an affair, with your friend, in the first 6 months of your marriage, and then having the gall to blame you for it.... I'm speechless.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 16:07:50

I should clarify my pregnancy a little here - we had been trying for a long time to conceive, then all of what had happened came out of the woodwork, at which point I moved out and we had very limited contact for a month. When I moved back into the house we had one sexual encounter, and I fell pregnant by accident. I do not feel that it is the child's fault its parents are such a mess, so did not and could not abort. I won't subject this child to arguments - we have until the child is born to reconcile our problems, if it cannot be done I will leave, and that will be that. He knows this. I understand why you'd be disgusted by his behaviour, and mine for continuing what many of you think is a foolish endeavour. You are entitled to think as you like, but I came here hoping for constructive input. madbuslady you are right, I do feel the need to share responsibility: if I spend all day thinking only about the negatives, and only about the wrongs he did then we are doomed before we have begun, so I choose not to think in terms of apportioning blame unequally, I choose to try and get past this. Does that make an ounce of sense? Probably not, I don't know that I can explain my drive to make my marriage work, only that when it does work, when we both pull together in the same direction it's what a marriage ought to be to my mind.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 16:10:04

Your husband is a rotter for using your friend's mental illness and your naiveté for excusing his behaviour. What on earth were you doing getting knocked-up? You may think you are love's young dream but, here's the news: you are one of those nightmare couples that no-one wants in their circle. You are seemingly intelligent and rational, but you are gravely deluded about this man's worth.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 16:12:23

So in essence, you will not make him take responsibility and blame for his affair alone, because then you'd have to admit to yourself that your husband is a cheat and a liar, who sleeps with your friend and then blames everyone else for doing so...like the waste of time and space that he is?

I can see your dilemma. hmm

StillSeekingSpike Wed 24-Jul-13 16:14:05

I think you taking half the blame is a way of getting back control over the situation. Because the alternative will be that you have to face up to the fact that he kept getting an erection- and using it to fuck a vulnerable woman.
I bet he's cried hasn't he? They always cry angry
But the idea of using your pregnancy time to rebuild your marriage is so desperately sad- you should be concentrating on the baby and looking after yourself, not appearing in some cheesy melodrama.
He is 'sad'- but more in its modern meaning.

Dahlen Wed 24-Jul-13 16:14:29

I am deeply saddened on your behalf that you have accepted the myth that men can't help themselves when it comes to controlling where they put their penises. Amazing how he managed to maintain an erection for those 7 months despite not fancying her/living in a constant state of fear of her. hmm

Ever thought that perhaps her version is correct and that her MH issues made her vulnerable to a sexual predator like your H? That is actually way, way more common than the scenario your H is painting.

The only acceptable response from a cheating spouse is abject remorse and full acceptance of responsibility. Anything less and you should recognise that you're dealing with someone whose only regret is the fact they got caught. No matter how hard someone pursues another, they have to want to reciprocate for anything to happen.

Have you fallen into the trap of mistaking heightened emotions for love? Just because they are strong doesn't mean they are healthy. A good loving relationship shouldn't hurt and it shouldn't be hard. Working at a marriage doesn't mean slogging through every day, it means treating each other with consideration and respect - which should come easily because you love each other - and pulling together as an equal team when things get temporarily rough.

Also, what you had was so special in the beginning because it wasn't real. The man you see now is the real man. The 18 months before your marriage was an illusion when he (and possibly you) were on your best behaviour.

Throw enough consequences at him and he may possibly act like the man you once knew, and that might be enough for you. However, you'd need to be prepared for the fact that as soon as you took your eye off the ball or made yourself vulnerable in any way he'd revert to type.

I'm sorry for your situation I really am, but this won't get better. If you really are determined to stick with it - and that's your choice - I suggest you make plans to safeguard yours and baby's financial security, insist on a barrier method of contraception, and seek fulfilment and support from friends, family and work.

PatriciaHolm Wed 24-Jul-13 16:15:16

"much as I hold him accountable for thinking with his willy and being weak, he holds me accountable for bringing her into our lives and not picking up on his subtle overtures that all was not well. "

As far as he's concerned, it's all someone else's fault. The woman for seducing him, yours for introducing them and then not spotting the affair. Nothing to do with poor little him, oh no.

This is all bollocks, and the relationship will NOT recover unless he takes full responsibility for having sex with someone else! He needs to do that, you can't do it for him.

Ogg Wed 24-Jul-13 16:16:13

Agree with Pramela - you're a bit flipped out if you think this relationship is ever going to be remotely healthy for either of you and especially the child. You both need long term individual counseling before you even try to engage as a couple.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 16:17:27

I am deeply saddened on your behalf that you have accepted the myth that men can't help themselves when it comes to controlling where they put their penises. Amazing how he managed to maintain an erection for those 7 months despite not fancying her/living in a constant state of fear of her

Ever thought that perhaps her version is correct and that her MH issues made her vulnerable to a sexual predator like your H? That is actually way, way more common than the scenario your H is painting.

This, this...so very much this.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Jul-13 16:17:46

I don't think anyone on this thread thinks this marriage stands a chance. The saddest thing is that you will probably spoil the first five years of your baby's life trying to prove us all wrong.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 16:19:38

Dahlen, what a brilliant post. I hope the OP reads it over and over again.

MorrisZapp Wed 24-Jul-13 16:22:35

Oh no, you sound like such a lovely person but this story is shocking. It simply isn't realistic to ask us how to stay with this arse of a man.

He blames you for introducing you to the OW? He cracked once then all the other times were blackmail?

And you're going along with this? Please do get counselling.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 16:24:19

I agree with what they all said. You can't change a marriage on your own. You'll go mad trying.

And "being a man" does not excuse him fucking your friend when she threw herself at him.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 16:24:53

I'm not disgusted at all, OP, but I don't think this approach will save your marriage. I haven't said LTB, but as maja says, there has to be total honesty. You can't "try to get past" something you only discovered four months ago if you're both still in denial about whose fault it really was. You're asking us for a magic pill that will make you both forget about what's happened and rewrite history so that you don't have to leave him. We don't have one.

On the circumstances of the pregnancy, I think they call that hysterical bonding, which can sometimes follow on from trauma. Your pg hormones have you high as a kite, in addition to which you have just moved and sound a bit isolated - hence the "drive" to make the marriage work and the level of denial you're having to resort to. He's basically all you have at the moment.

Honestly, I suspect your best shot lies in apportioning blame "unequally" as a first step in the course of counselling - because he bloody deserves it. If he's as committed as you say, he'll take it and acknowledge that you are right to dish it out.

Bakingtins Wed 24-Jul-13 16:26:31

I think in general that committed relationships should be worked at and not abandoned at the first sign of trouble. That means both parties working at it, though.
Before you can even begin to move forward he has to take responsibility for his actions, then you can decide if you can find it in your heart to forgive him. You can't try to gloss over what he's done and "focus on the positives" because it will be there lurking and festering until it is properly out in the open and dealt with, and every time you have an argument you will bring it up.
Lance the boil, preferably in counselling, then you can see if you can build anything positive together.

Most couples have to deal with work stress, money worries, bereavement, changing circumstances .. most couples do not spend 6 hours screaming at each other or rush from their wedding reception into the arms of a friend. It sounds as if there is no trust, no respect, no love. Less than a year into a marriage that does not sound hopeful.

WinnieFosterTether Wed 24-Jul-13 16:26:48

You've made it clear you don't want ltb advice . . .so . . .go to counselling on your own.

It will help you to work through the multitude of issues in this relationship and give you coping strategies for the long arguments that follow you from room to room.

tbh I hope the counselling will help you work your way out of this. He has treated you appallingly.

You mention the relationship works well when you both 'behave'. If by 'behave' you mean act in a very conscious manner and damp down all your instincts then you need to accept that type of behaviour is not sustainable long-term.

I feel for you, I really do, but please for you and for your baby, go to counselling.

SolomanDaisy Wed 24-Jul-13 16:27:01

How long have you known your best friend? She has accused this man of rape. It's actually quite rare for someone to lie, what makes you sure she is?

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