Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Cheating DH, 'friend' and my strange domestic set-up.

(123 Posts)
merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 17:37:10

This may be long and will totally out me but wtf. DH lives abroad Monday to Friday and commutes back to the uk at weekends. He's a big-shot lawyer and keeps us (three dc's) in a very comfortable lifestyle.

The whole family had lived there until 6 years ago when dc's and I came back to the Uk as the schooling was poor and my eldest Dd was suffering (she has AS). The kids and I are happy here, lots of new friendships formed and life is good. But not for DH. He's lonely out there and I'm acutely aware that he's sacrificing so much for us; we often have the conversation about him giving it all up but it remains inconclusive.

To get to the point. Two months ago, I got a call from a friend I'd made out there. She had some temping work at Dh's company and fancied a chat.I suggested that she looked DH up and hung out with him as I knew he was lonely, she had been a close and valued friend who was having a horrible time with her H and why the hell not.

The two of them had two lunches followed by an evening out the following week and that, I thought, was that. She emigrated to the Middle East the following week with one of her kids (this had always been on the cards).

The week after their evening out our family went on holiday. A lovely time was had by all; I entertained the kids most of the time but that's our family dynamic, I'm the gregarious one while he does his own thing. At the end of the holiday DH seemed to have developed 'mentionitis' over our mutual friend, so much so that I asked him, almost as a joke, if he'd shagged her. Of course he fucking had. Two days before he came home to us and we all set off together. They had arranged to spend the Saturday together, both of them knowing what would happen, and it did. She phoned him the next day and said she'd fallen in love with him and he responded likewise. Throughout our holiday (which coincided with our twentieth anniversary) they phoned each other, texted and e-mailed. They missed each other you see.

He confessed all this three weeks ago and he's so, so sorry. Can never forgive himself etc. He phoned her straight away and finished it and there has been no further contact (he says). He wants us to begin again and all the rest of it. At the moment I am still in shock. DH is a very successful and clever man and is, clearly, an attractive one. ( 'friend' is extremely attractive). He has always had chronically low self esteem and presents as an honourable and rather quiet chap who is utterly loyal and seems to dote on me and the kids.

But that's all bollocks isn't it? Devoted husbands don't do that. He had a very real cause for complaint in that our sex life has been rubbish for years (I'm on anti-depressants which have killed my libido) but I rather thought that a serious conversation would have been a better solution than shagging one of my mates because "she made me feel good about myself". And don't even get me started on that fucking skank.

So, any thoughts?

Looking at it objectively you have been leading very separate lives for years, and it is very hard to sustain a relationship under those circumstances.

If you both want to make things work you probably can, although the one shag thing may be a red herring. Most men who cheat minimise and I'd assume there is a lot more to it than that.

If he's still out there, and so is she, it isn't over.

The biggest question is do you want to work things out?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 06-Sep-13 18:30:47

Sorry OP.

How old are your dc and do they acknowledge their father much? I ask as bringing them up single handedly they must have an opinion on him being away and not being a family man.

LondonNinja Fri 06-Sep-13 18:32:22

Jeez. It's not fucking inevitable. No, no, no. He had a choice.
OP, I hope you can work through this.

OnTheBottomWithAWomensWeekly Fri 06-Sep-13 18:32:34

Saying its inevitable is not the same as saying its ok, or acceptable.
He has been living alone, apart from his family, for years. He's unhappy and lonely. He sees his wife on weekends who is also unhappy and does not want to sleep with him (her prerogative, of course). He doesn't get to spend much time with the children he works hard to provide for.
After YEARS of this, an attractive woman showed an interest in him and he cheated. He admitted this very soon after. Is it ok? no. Is it something you can get over? Up to you. But is it understandable? I have to say yes, it is.
and it has nothing to do with him being a man, I'd say the same if it was the other way around.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 18:33:47

That's very sad about your children - must say that would hurt me more I think than a one-off shag.

Would he move back to the UK to save his relationship with you and your children?

Whocansay Fri 06-Sep-13 18:34:00

I think it says a lot that he came clean, when he could have kept his mouth shut and you may never have known. That sounds like real remorse to me.

It was not 'inevitable', however hmm.

What do you want to do, OP?

Biscuitsneeded Fri 06-Sep-13 18:36:21

I think it's interesting that you were the one who encouraged your friend to make contact with your husband. Are you sure your motives were 100% altruistic, or is it possible on some unconscious level you knew this would happen and wanted it to happen, because then you would be the one 'sinned against' and he would be the bad guy. When actually your relationship doesn't sound that great and maybe you are no longer able to live with the pretence. I'm not judging, it's kind of where I am too... By the way I'm not implying that men and women shouldn't meet up for platonic reasons - I have two fantastic platonic male friends - but I wonder if you knew that they would both be tempted.

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 18:36:49

They are Dd1 (17 and As), Ds 15 and Dd2 12. The older girl doesn't like him as she is very judgemental of his cold manner. The other two love him but are wary. I was always sorry that she couldn't see through his reserve to the utterly decent man beneath. That view has taken a bit of a beating, obviously.

Badvoc Fri 06-Sep-13 18:38:20

He intimidates your dc, and has cheated in you.
Sounds like a keeper hmm

What has prompted you to post this now OP? I mean, how have things been in the 3 weeks since he confessed? Is he coming home this weekend (tonight)? How are things between you right now?

I am not usually one to jump right on the LTB bandwagon so I am happy to see it hasn't come around on this thread yet.

Ha! Massive ironic x-post with Badvoc there.

motherinferior Fri 06-Sep-13 18:41:59

I still don't understand why he's allegedly lonely when he's lived there for six years. That really isn't your fault or responsibility.

FWIW, I think if you do ultimately decide to try and give your relationship a go, you need to be living together as a proper couple and a proper family. The current way won't cut it any more. Intimacy and warmth need a certain amount of proximity.

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 18:43:03

I find it really sad that some people appear to be saying it was inevitable that he shagged someone else as he was away from home, not getting any sex with his wife and spent time with another woman.

What happened to forsaking all others, in sickness and in health, doing the right thing and being a decent person?

If you don't get regular sex your dick doesn't fall off. If you want it you be a grown up and talk to your spouse.

You also need to think whether you want him back for you as well as it is the right thing to have him back for the children.

It sounds like the op was quite satisfied with the arrangement of a wkend relationship and infrequent sex. He wasn't. He has fucked up big time and i feel for the op who is shocked but now is a chance for her to decide if she wants a full time marriage or not.

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 18:44:41

Biscuits, no. It never occurred to me in my worst nightmares that this would happen. My female friendships are what keep me sane. I honestly believed that they would enjoy each others company, most of his friends are women- large parts of his weekends in the Uk are spent with his female friends.

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 18:44:41

Biscuits, no. It never occurred to me in my worst nightmares that this would happen. My female friendships are what keep me sane. I honestly believed that they would enjoy each others company, most of his friends are women- large parts of his weekends in the Uk are spent with his female friends.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 18:46:12

You are right MissStrawberry he should have discussed if he wasn't happy with the lack of sex - am presuming he hadn't? But I do think if there is no/little sex, well it puts a marriage in a very vulnerable place if that's not something both partners are happy with.

But he absolutely should have talked to the OP about how he was feeling.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 18:47:39

Merlin - so are you around when he sees these friends at weekends? Or does he go off and seem them during the limited amount of time you have as a couple/family?

I'm really struggling to see what you get from this relationship other than being comfortably provided for.

motherinferior Fri 06-Sep-13 18:48:08

A lot of people seem to be implying that it's the OP's responsibility to repair the relationship. With a man who has, she says, been the one who has been cold and unresponsive. And isn't particularly interested in a holiday with those children he 'works so hard to support'....

But you have traded your husband for a comfortable lifestyle, why do you complain?

You have however also made a choice for your children to live without a father, so you can be kept in comfort without him around.

Not sure what you want now.

It is her choice to repair it, not her responsibility.

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 18:50:36

No Mrscampbell, I'm not around then. It's his 'quality time'.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 18:51:26

MI - I think the OP's husband should be the one making the big gesture, ie, moving back in with his family.

If that's what she wants - not sure it is though?

Badvoc Fri 06-Sep-13 18:51:46

"Quality time" = shagging around now, does it?

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