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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?

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 18:52:56

Hmmm, Merlin - it really doesn't sound like he adds much to your life apart from money. Well I'd be consulting a very good divorce solicitor if I were you.

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 18:55:21

It really is twatty to talk about quality time and me time. Who exactly gets this "quality time"? Is it everyone but you?

BetsyBell Fri 06-Sep-13 18:56:10

That he's being honest with you is hugely important here. It means that he is acknowledging responsibility for his actions. You now need to decide what you want to do. If you both still want to be together then it is possible to move on, eventually.

It would seem to be a good time to decide on where to go career-wise too. Have it all out and make a new future, either together or individually - whichever you both feel is right.

How long were you planning to live apart for? How did it get to six years?

escape Fri 06-Sep-13 19:06:36

I completely understand how easy it is to slide into less than conventional domestic set ups, and how time can truly fly past..
Have been there / am there.
OP - you say you have re-evaluated everything after this 'shock' - ( to badly paraphrase) What have your discussions with H been since the discovery.

Dahlen Fri 06-Sep-13 19:06:42

I don't think you can make any decisions about what you want to do right now. You are hurt and angry. You need time to work through that before you can decide a resolution that is going to affect the rest of both your lives and those of your DC.

I would advise you to do that without him around (he should spend the time thinking, too), since seeing each other will make it much more difficult to think rationally. It will take as long as it takes, but you could set a time limit if you think it will help you both know where you are, even if it's just to decide that you need more time.

No one on here knows if this is a case of a good man who's done a bad thing that your marriage can come back from, or whether you're much better off without being married to a cold, controlling man. That's for you to work out.

The one thing both of you need to accept though, is that life will never be the same again. If you decide to continue with your marriage, it is imperative that you both recognise that it will need to be new marriage, renegotiated in a way that's fair to you all and capable of meeting both your needs.

I'm so sorry you're hurting at the moment and hope you find the clarity and support you need. flowers

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 19:09:00

The answer is that neither of us knew. He is very senior in his organisation and is, rightly, proud of that. We have both become so polarised in our lives; I'm the 'people person' with the chaotic past (I'm a recovering alcoholic, sober for 20 years) but have had to deal with the struggles of my AS daughter and all the heartbreak involved with that. He is the jet-setting executive. It seems such a mis-match when I see it written down but it did seem to work. I honestly love and, still, respect him for all he has done for us.

TheLightPassenger Fri 06-Sep-13 19:12:24

excellent post dahlen.

gotadifferentnamenow Fri 06-Sep-13 19:13:03

I don't mean to minimise what he's done at all, but the greedy cynicism of the "take him to the cleaners" posts leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

TeaLadyExtraordinaire Fri 06-Sep-13 19:14:20

I am sorry to say this but I am surprised that it didn't happen sooner. I would have thought that 6 years of commuting like that would put a strain on the most devoted of marriages.

I hope you can sort it out OP.

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 19:16:26

I would never advocate a visit to the cleaners. He has devoted his life to me and the kids and I will always love him for that. The money is nice but I want a loving relationship much, much more.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 06-Sep-13 19:17:39

I had a devoted DP who worked away. Adored me. Worshipped the ground I walked on. Couldn't wait to get back to me in the UK

Until I found out he'd been living with another woman for over a year over there

Someone said the word "inevitable" up thread. I didn't used to think it was. Now I'm not so sure

Sorry you're going through this OP. If I had the answers I would give them to you

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 19:20:11

Rather oddly, we have been at it like middle-aged rabbits since the revelation. So that's good.

alarkthatcouldpray Fri 06-Sep-13 19:20:31

Must be reading a different thread gotadifferentnamenow as I have missed those posts...

As for inevitable, really? If he is following a Neighbours script as he lives his life then perhaps. If he is a human being with free will, not so much.

Good luck OP, sounds like you want to work through things. Hope that is possible.

Merlin google hysterical bonding, it's a very very normal stage that couples go through.

alarkthatcouldpray Fri 06-Sep-13 19:25:22

Predictable rather than inevitable maybe BitOutOfPractice? A cliche?

Badvoc Fri 06-Sep-13 19:29:19

He shags around, you forgive him and have lots of sex with him.
Ok.
Hope it's all goes well for you and your dc.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 06-Sep-13 19:29:34

Maybe if I weren't so jaded alark I might agree with you wink

I guess so. I mean I didn't cheat on him while he was away so I guess it's not inevitable. So, reluctantly, I'll give you that one <magnanimous>

merlin I'm not sure suddenly jumping into bed with him will make you feel better in the long term

ChelseaBun Fri 06-Sep-13 19:31:41

Sadly all too often I have seen this in marriages where the husband works abroad. I saw up close in the petchem industry, men who had their wives and kids at home in the UK and a "second wife" set up abroad.

I think a marriage can survive a year or so of living separately but when it becomes long term, they lose a certain intimacy, and I'm not talking about sex.

Merlin if you should decide you want this marriage to work, you might want to look at why you're on A/Ds. Was/is your unhappiness linked to your DH?

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 19:35:57

The medication is because of my Dd1.

YoniMatopoeia Fri 06-Sep-13 19:36:31

Oh Merlin. So sorry to hear that you are going through this sad

You NEED to get 'Just good friends' by shirley glass. It is mainly aimed at couples who are going to stay together, but is useful even if that is not the final outcome.

If he is at all wanting to fix this (and if that is still what you want) then he needs to come back to a job in the UK.

Please remember that this is NOT your fault. it was HIS choice to do this.

gotadifferentnamenow Fri 06-Sep-13 19:38:05

Yeah, merlin, I didn't mean you. More than anything else, I think you sound like you want to make it work with your H, although I agree with those who say take your time making such big decisions.

Alark, I was thinking of this post

"I don't see what you'd be getting out of this relationship, especially a Friday to Sunday one with a cheating bastard. Apart from funds and your lifestyle maintained? But you could apply for spousal support, hefty maintenance and get sole custody of kids."

and this one

"Hmmm, Merlin - it really doesn't sound like he adds much to your life apart from money. Well I'd be consulting a very good divorce solicitor if I were you."

But I admit I know absolutely nothing at all of how it is to live off someone else's money, comfortably or otherwise, ex or current partner. <shrug>

ChelseaBun Fri 06-Sep-13 19:40:20

Merlin I'm sorry to hear about your Dd1. Have you heard from your so called friend in all this?

merlincat Fri 06-Sep-13 19:44:37

No. I never want to see her or think about her again. He's the cheater and all that but she is just beyond the pale.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 19:49:52

I suggested seeing a good divorce lawyer and I don't think that's being greedy. Its about ensuring a fair financial settlement is reached which reflects that the OP has been married for a long time and brought up the children largely single-handedly.

I would always advocate saving a relationship if possible and its what both partners want. However, if a relationship can't be saved its sensible to seek a fair settlement.

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