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DH had affair - can't get over the pain.

(54 Posts)
saferniche Fri 30-Aug-13 16:33:17

Five months ago, just before our 20th wedding anniversary my DH told me that he'd had an affair, which he said had happened last year. He told me it was over (it wasn't of course, they were still in contact). After some ambivalence on his part I insisted on NC - after which his attachment to the OW evaporated pretty quickly. More ambivalence towards me was solved by my visit to a divorce lawyer and the firm insistence that he commit to our relationship or leave. He seemed hugely relieved at deciding to stay.

He's feeling a great deal of shame and remorse, is mortified at how much he's hurt me and we're making our way through the process of reconciliation. He's a lovely man, a great father and I don't want to abandon the marriage after what now seems to him like a dreadful mistake. But the pain and sorrow is unending.

Thoughts please, lovely (and not so lovely) mumsnetters.

saferniche Sun 01-Sep-13 10:14:28

newbiefrugalgal does your dp know how you feel now?

onefewernow Sun 01-Sep-13 10:56:22

Safeniche,

I am two years on, come November. H was unfaithful, mainly online, but for at least five and a half years, and with a heap of lying and gas lighting.

In some ways our relationship is better than before. It is much more open, though he will always have a reserved personality. He helps more, and is no longer subtly controlling about all sorts of issues eg how we spent time, or how much I know about his spending .

However, for me, it will never be the same. I would like to say it is better on the whole, but there will always be that crack in the vase.

I have forgiven him, so it isn't resentment, and I truly believe he won't do it again. But he will always have done what he did, it can't be undone.

Our counsellor said something helpful- we are back for a second round with him, since March. He said that everyone should periodically review their relationship, maybe even monthly if you want. You ask the question, " is this relationship still working for me?"

That gets you away from having to decide all the time whether you are right to stay. It means that if it is working enough for you to stay now, you can still decide it isn't in the future. It puts you back in control, I think.

Even though I am now over 50, I am able to say to myself that my relationship suits me well enough now, there isn't a lot of animosity, we are good company together, and it is better for the kids than living in single parent poverty. If the balance changes for the worse for any reason, I can change my mind and still move on in the future. It isn't just about scrambling out in time to find a new man. Even if I wanted one, I don't thing age is such a barrier. There are plenty of 20 plus year olds who are still failing to meet someone, it isn't just people my age.

I decided what my bottom line was in terms of having a man in my life, and I measure against that.

saferniche Sun 01-Sep-13 13:55:23

onefewernow thank you for such a frank and considered post. Of course you're right, plenty of people remarry later in life. It sounds as if this may be what happens for you when you're ready.

Your counsellor advises: 'everyone should periodically review their relationship,' and that at least is true (although you might hope with a loving and not clinical eye). We take too much for granted.

saferniche Sun 01-Sep-13 13:58:42

talking to people on here (and some thoughtful and generous advice) has helped to make me feel better today. Thank you, all smile

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