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rebuilding with DH after affair

(127 Posts)
HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 13:05:36

DH and I are going through some really tough times after I (stupidly and unforgivably) got involved with high-school sweetheart from 18 years ago.
This is now all over, OM and I are not in touch any more, DH and I have talked everything through. I know he is hurting badly, but I am struggling as to how to acknowledge his hurt on a daily basis whilst also trying to keep up a semblance of normality for DC.
Also, I am really struggling reconnecting with DH physically. Bottom line, I am not attracted to him. I was before I allowed myself to look elsewhere so I know I need to rediscover that for his sake but not sure how??
DH wants us to have more couple time and for everything not to revolve around DC. I want this too and we are going to move house to be closer to family for more help with this, but in the short term what can I do – do at home date nights work?!

HH xx

JacqueslePeacock Thu 15-Aug-13 13:06:52

Would you consider some professional help? Couples counselling?

What made you look elsewhere in the first place?
Do you work? Or are you the quintessential stay at home mum yearning for excitement? Are you bored? Do you lack self esteem? Do you have any hobbies? Why is your life purely revolving around the kids?

HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 13:11:38

Yes we would consider counselling - I have done some online by myself but childcare and work make couple's counselling more difficult to arrange.
I do work part-time but I was definitely feeling bored and trapped. I do have hobbies, go to the gym, run, swim, read ... I don't really know about my self-esteem, it was low during the affair as I felt so guilty constantly about DH and the kids!!

HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 14:00:31

I have said to DH that there are personal issues I need to work through now things are over with OM, and I really do intend to do that - I've applied for a new job and am looking at houses etc.
But I feel like I need to try and show him more obviously that things can improve between us iykwim??

HH x

Waferthinmint Thu 15-Aug-13 14:04:02

Moving house is very stressful in itself. Are you sure it is the right thing at the moment.

Re counselling - I found email contact with a counsellor very helpful and fitted in time wise (not for a relationship issue - more life coaching style)

HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 14:36:10

I have been emailing a counsellor as like you say it fits in with work and family etc.
I know moving house is stressful but I really feel like we need the change and being closer to family would be helpful.

ofmiceandmen Thu 15-Aug-13 14:51:54

I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark- it ended not because you suddenly realised what you could lose, but either because he moved or circumstances made it end (discovery etc).

I don't think you are currently able to empathise with your DH and the comparison is still there with the OM. you almost need closure.

Infidelity no matter the course is really about selfishness, and I don't say this to criticise, but instead to say you are currently still talking more about yourself than your DH.
Re-read your post - the word 'I' appears more than any other. Basically you are still in the affair cycle. you're still not giving your DH 100% of you, compassion, love etc.

You've just moved it on into an emotional affair with someone that's not there any more.

HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 14:53:39

A lot of what you say is probably true but if that's the case how do I try and change things and empathise more with DH?

ageofgrandillusion Thu 15-Aug-13 14:56:39

If the OM came back and offered to start a new life with you and the kids, what would you do OP?

HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 14:59:32

(a) I've made a choice to be with DH and kids as I believe that's what's best for them. (b) I would not believe him as the way he acted at the end of the affair made me realise what a liar he is (this should have been obvious I know).

ofmiceandmen Thu 15-Aug-13 15:01:20

Practical solutions -

You will need to get DC away with friends or family.
For most couples DC are first and the DP come second (wrong IMHO), currently your DH is 3rd or 4th after you and that's a pretty far off place to be.

You kind of just need to have fun, and be each others number ones. You'll be surprised how lovable and fun a person he still is once he removes the shackles.

Your currently dancing Dantes dance - you feel off, he feels your mood, he feels off, you feel more off because he feels off. - downward spiral.

Try this also- try repeat the jokes and sexual things you did with OM. I know it sounds wrong - but actually they were the best of you and DH needs to experience the best of you too. then you will enjoy being you again around DH.

MexicanHat Thu 15-Aug-13 15:45:13

OP, how does the thought of being physcial/having sexual contact with your H make you feel? I think that once these feelings have gone it's very hard to get them back. It was the beginning of the end for me.

MexicanHat Thu 15-Aug-13 15:46:45

*physical!!

HollieHelen Thu 15-Aug-13 15:49:17

DH is lovely and knows me really well and we know how each other works, so the contact is good ...
I am still comparing things to OM which I know needs to stop.
I know I am letting DH down and there has to be away to inject some of the excitement / passion there was with OM back into our marriage??

ofmiceandmen Thu 15-Aug-13 16:20:05

there has to be away to inject some of the excitement / passion there was with OM back into our marriage??

Don't over think it. Just do it!

As per my suggestion before - hence forth DH is the OM.

Trust me... if you give as much to your DH as you did to OM (sexually and viewing him without the years and upsets and frustrations that you have attached to him) you will both reap the rewards.

ofmiceandmen Thu 15-Aug-13 16:22:14

BUT and this is important -

you have to emotionally let go of this OM.

You need closure. because you're still seeing that image of the him you wanted him to be in your head (subconscious or otherwise).

Don't ask your DH to compete against a ghost - even OM didn't live up to it.

ofmiceandmen Thu 15-Aug-13 16:40:02

There's something really odd about people who don't actually care about you. - they make great lovers.

For them it's all about the climax, the joy and raw passion of sex. There is no worrying if they hurt your or offend you, they covert you without thinking about school fees, care what you eat tomorrow or anything.

This makes them liberated experimental animals. and you know what - it's great! but it seldom lasts forever. They are often a-holes

YOU need to get over the affair oddly- you feel less attractive and inadequate- maybe you feel used. whatever - don't make DH have to do a dance to make up for your feeling hurt.

Give the person that stood by you, changed nappies with you and was with you through thick and then - the best of you.
(NB- I am not asking you to enslave yourself for/to him) but just show him you. give the guy a chance to experience this excited person (yes every time you mention OM there is a sense of excitement whereas with DH it's depressive).

Ramble over

ownbrand Thu 15-Aug-13 19:04:10

Have you been completeley honest with your Dh about the details of the affair and why it happened ?

I agree with previous poster who says its still about you , and i dont mean that unkindly . I have had terrible traumas and bereavements in my life and i can honestly say that nothing compares to the pain caused by infidelity .

You can not apologise enough in my opinion . It sounds like your Dh is coming up with ways for you to reconnect . Really this is your job , sureley it is possible to get a babysitter ?

You can not apologize enough in my opinion and this should be heartfelt . Have you read what a betrayed spouse needs in order to recover ? You have not mentioned anywhere in your post how sorry you are or how gratefull you are that your Dh has given you another chance .

Your Dh will be very vulnerable right now and depending on when he discovered this could well be in a state of shock . Does he talk to you openly about his pain ?

HollieHelen Mon 02-Sep-13 09:51:58

Yes, DH has opened up a lot recently about the pain he's feeling, and has shown how hurt he is. We have had some tearful sleepless nights. I am trying to reassure him and I do keep apologising but I somehow feel like the apologies remind him of what happened - still seeking ways to show him how sorry I am on a day-to-day basis but without raking up the past??

HH xx

HollieHelen Mon 02-Sep-13 13:17:55

ownbrand - I am really, really sorry, and very grateful to DH for being so lovely through all of this. I know I deserve a lot more grief than he's giving me - he has shown himself to be a really amazing person.
I have got him gifts recently, leave him little notes, just try and remind him on a daily basis how much he means to me. I know he is still hurting a lot sad
Maybe I am trying to rush his healing process??

str8tothepoint Mon 02-Sep-13 16:31:56

if your not attracted to him then why put him and yourself through hard therapy sessions when you don't want him no more??? why not just let him go and find someone that deserves him and finds him attractive, sorry to be blunt but give up, he's never going to be healed

I hope you don't mind if I am brutally frank, but I don't think you are any way near ready to be trying to rebuild your relationship with your DH. He deserves so much more than a wife who is emotionally elsewhere, doesn't fancy him, and who is going through the motions for what reason? To keep the status quo? Because OM didn't live up to her expectations? Because that is how it is coming across.

If you want to know how your DH is feeling about this, I will tell you. It is a hell of a lot more than hurt. It will be the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up, and the last before he falls asleep. Every hour of every day some little thing will remind him. Every time he looks at you he will remember how much he loved you, how he pledged his life to you, how you are the mother of his children, but inside he will still feel dead. Because that is what affairs do... they kill the spark that makes a relationship special, makes you the one rather that just A.N.Other girlfriend.

If you want your relationship to have a future you have to get some of that back. You'll never get the whole package... that is gone forever. He'll always hold a little part of himself in reserve, but there is hope if the running comes from you.

My suggestion is go away and work on yourself. Let go of whatever it is about OM you are in thrall to. If you can't do that, walk away now and leave your DH alone to rebuild his life with someone who does love him, completely. If you can, show him. Do everything you possibly can to make things right for him. Talk to him, answer all his questions, let him grieve, and be there for him when he has doubts and bad days. Accept that you need to change, you are the problem, and he needs time. I am a year on, my DH has been to the ends of the earth and back to show me he is sorry, and committed to me, but despite the fact our marriage is the best it has ever been and I am happy, I still have bad days.

HollieHelen Wed 04-Sep-13 09:55:53

There's no way I am walking away from DH! I am fully commited to him and DC at this point, and am really making an effort to be there for him - I'm just struggling to do enough - I just feel like whatever I do will never be enough sad
He has proved himself to be a wonderful person through this and I want to be with him.
I completely accept that I am the problem and I need to change, but I also know I should be focussing on him, rather than myself, right now.

HH xx

Throwingthetowel Wed 04-Sep-13 10:23:59

I'd say until you've worked on yourself you are no good at all to your DH

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