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.

I've joined the merry throng

(207 Posts)
Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 00:05:40

It's complicated. But also very simple. DH has been unfaithful. Still an ongoing EA but now I've discovered it
I've NC. We have 3 kids
Bloody hell

Wellwobbly Fri 20-Sep-13 19:02:54

*If someone I knew, who at been in my house, accepted my hospitality, pretended to be my friend then fucked my partner... my God I would want to bloody KILL them...
*

This happened to me.. She lives 200 yds away. We are in a tiny village and our DD's are in the same class. It hurts me daily and I'm still not sure how to deal with it. - Lost, what an absolutely hideous story.

So sorry. Are you OK?

You did your absolute best and who's to say that if you'd done things any different there'd have been no affair and a happier marriage? You've done what so many women do - held it all together, been strong for everyone and been generally pretty damn amazing. Don't forget that x

ownbrand Thu 19-Sep-13 15:46:52

A person who has recently discovered infidelity is often in a state of shock, similar to a bereaved person. There is no right or wrong way to react . Sheer adrenilin gets people through the initial days . Not something id like to experience again , ever.

elizadofuckall Thu 19-Sep-13 14:45:29

Its cant be wrong cliche. You want what you want and none of us can tell you any different. Its just that when you are listening/reading to this from the outside, some things are jumping out.

I realise that you have no trust in the services but you should try them again as acute is very different from the other mental health services.

Wellwobbly Thu 19-Sep-13 13:48:29

Cliche I hope I have not attacked you?

There are stages to this: shock and numbness, a very strange 'high', and also what you are showing, a tremendous need to find answers in which you are involved and responsible and had your part to play. If you had a part to play, it can then be fixed by you!

You have to go through all the phases, and sadly Cliche you are only at the start of the rollercoaster...

Don't worry, we will be with you. We have been on this horrible ride.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 19-Sep-13 13:32:30

Cliche, no its not wrong, but you need to look after yourself first. Once you feel stronger and have processed all your thoughts and emotions, you will be in a much better position to make long term decisions.

My quote about being responsible for one own's happiness was actually targeted at you - the past few years has been very much about him and the balance needs to be addressed.

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 13:13:11

There are huge similarities in the way that I reacted after discovering my husband's affair. As someone said, I look back now with amazement at my responses but I've learned that shock is the most peculiar state of mind. My gut instinct was that this was survivable, but the adrenaline surge took me by surprise and was actually not unpleasant. All of my senses felt on high alert and during the hysterical bonding phase, it even occurred to me that this was what an affair must feel like.

But like an affair, this phase is not 'real'.

The really difficult stuff comes afterwards when the shock and adrenaline have worn off, so I'm hoping you'll see this as a kindness to pre-warn you about some things.

I'd also say that unless you've felt this way yourself, or have been through it, it's just impossible to say how you'd react. My own reaction shocked me too.

We learned so much from our individual counselling and from reading more or less everything there was to read at the time (was years ago, incidentally.) So I'll share with you that it's really common for the person who's the 'under-responsible' part of the couple to have an affair.

From what you're saying, your circumstances were different to mine, but there are some similarities in that my husband had let me take on too much responsibility for our joint lives and we'd got into a pattern of me being the one who seemed to have the greatest burden for keeping the show on the road, despite having a busy and demanding career.

You're right to look at your own behaviour but I promise you, this is too soon and I'd also judge that you're coming to the wrong conclusions about it. If you're partnered with someone who is either unable or unwilling to be an equal partner, unless you want your children to lose out or your own life to become chaotic and disorganised, you have no choice other than to fill the breach. It's hard not to feel resentful of that, but the answer is not to stop doing things or to somehow stop feeling resentful.

The answer should have been for him to take responsibility for his own health and his efforts to be an equal partner.

Instead of doing that, it's my hunch that rather than face up to those responsibilities, he secretly punished you for your competence and your justifiable resentment, by having an affair with someone who had no requirement for him to be grown up and responsible. All he was required to do was to be adoring and sexual and the same went for her.

As long as this thread is useful to you, it can be a very good thing to write down your feelings. I guarantee one day you'll look back and won't recognise yourself though. So don't make any irrevocable decisions and definitely don't decide that this marriage will work and you will forgive. It's a long haul and you can't know that yet.

ModeratelyObvious Thu 19-Sep-13 12:37:05

Hang in there, cliche. Some couples get through this and you and DH may well do so.

Clichecliche Thu 19-Sep-13 12:11:25

I absolutely have PTSD. Absolutely.
I need a counsellor. I've made initial contact re seeing someone. It will be privately. I would never go nhs mental health services locally.
I've utterly failed myself and then my marriage by pretending everything was fine. Yes he's responsible for his own happiness but so am I. I've not been happy for years and I've bullied him. Imagine my DH posting on MN about how I lied about money, wouldn't let him go out, wouldn't let him work, did everything for him. I imagine LTB would be a common comment.
He was scared of me. I had turned into a controlling bully although I thought I was just looking after him. And he was bullied badly as a child and it fed into all those issues.
He had an affair but even if he hadn't we were not in a good place.
Now what? Seriously I'm completely numb about the affair And anxious and sad. And I need to get my head sorted and recover. Everyone at the time said cliche you're so amazing, look what you coped with. So I got into a role. I don't want that role. I want to be me again
And I'm reminded why I loved him as an equal for 10 years before it all crashed. Is it really wrong to try to reclaim that?

lemonstartree Thu 19-Sep-13 11:43:28

I think the ONLY thing that can be said about such a horrendous discovery is that most of us don't have a clue what we would do. All you can do is what feels right ? all you can do is try to get through each day

fwiw if a couple have children I do believe its right to try, if possible to hod the family together. I am divorced with children but I tried for a long time to hold together a failing marriage. When I look back, I know with certainty that I could not have done more

Maybe the OP need to feel that if she cant reconcile with her DH she has at least tried as hard as she could.

MN is here to support people, most of whom are in situations into which we only get a tiny glimpse. Respecting OP's actions and emotions, to deal with HER personal betrayal any way she can is surely what MN is about ?

OrmirianResurgam Thu 19-Sep-13 11:34:35

"I think posters are being a bit harsh on Cliche. Everyone reacts differently when they find out their partner has been having an affair. There is no 'correct' way to react - your feelings will arrive and change in their own time. Sometimes you will feel anger, sometimes hurt, sometimes confusion and sometimes even like everything is fine and you can forget about it all."

Quite. FFS! Something hideously traumatic has happened and now people are piling in telling her she's doing it all wrong. There isn't a right way and a wrong way, there is just your own way. I got upset on MN after dday because I was being told all kinds of things about H and our marriage that just confused me and upset me. It was helpful without a doubt but an awful lot of the apocalyptic stuff turned out not to be true and were simply projection.

FWIW I didn't get angry until a month or so after. I was mainly hurt and confused. It's like being caught in a fierce rainstorm - you can just about catch your breath and keep on your feet but the ground is slippery, you can't see more than a few feet and you are overwhelmed. There might be sensible way to react but in the event everyone does their own thing. Once the anger comes it tends to stay around for a long time and although it has helped me demand the things I needed from H it can also be fairly destructive.

mummytime Thu 19-Sep-13 10:05:21

I think that last post in its wn way explains a lot.

You are too calm. But from that post it is clear that you yourself have a lot of psychological damage, and a lot to deal with.
It seems to me like there is a huge dam in your life, and you would be terrified to let it down, or do anything but try to repair the cracks because of just how much "water" is behind it.

I can understand that.

I do find it absolutely terrifying that you can have a garage that you haven't been in for 7 years.

Please please get yourself some help. I know you have been let down in the past, but please seek help.

elizadofuckall Thu 19-Sep-13 10:00:14

Also, i have done the hysterical bonding thing and although i am still with my husband, i absolutely hate myself for letting that happen.

Yes, all this has taken its toll on you, OP. I went through something similar to you and I can appreciate you not wanting to go into the garage. This is post traumatic stress. Did you have any counselling about this?

elizadofuckall Thu 19-Sep-13 09:58:48

I am wondering if you perhaps need some kind of debrief from your husbands attempt to take his own life. It is very common for psychiatrists to be that blunt because at the end of the day, no one can stop someone from taking their own life. Maybe along the lines of a chat with a psychologist or a person centered counsellor. As for the things within the relationship now, from an outside perspective you seem strangely detatched from it all. I would hazard a guess that you are just not ready to cope with more distress right now.

Cliche, your life seems utterly traumatic and I'm not surprised at any of the ways you have behaved. I do think you need some counselling for yourself. You are very self aware but you are dealing with too much to manage on your own.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 19-Sep-13 09:11:58

And the good thing about MN is that we offer advice that is based on actual personal experience and as we do not know you, it is unbiased i.e no vested interests.

While the support of friends and family in real life is vital, remember that they may find change difficult, will want things to be like the good old days and also may not want to come across as critical for fear of losing you so may say things you want to hear. I know I am guilty of doing this when RL friends seek my advice - its much harder telling them what you really think in real life. On MN, we tell you how it is even though its not what you want to hear and this is what saved my marriage and my own sanity.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 19-Sep-13 09:04:01

We are concerned about your welfare - as I said before, hysterical bonding often causes even more pain and distress to the betrayed party (who will be in a very vulnerable state), especially when the reality of the situation hits them.

Have you found a counsellor yet? It sounds like you also had a very traumatic time dealing with his depression and suicide attempt. Maybe this could be your priority? You need to be well and strong to deal with the next several months.

The other point I will make is that we all are responsible for our own happiness - we are not responsible for other people's happiness so if someone is unhappy then its down to this person to sort her/himself out.

Take care.

Clichecliche Thu 19-Sep-13 08:24:14

Morning thoughts

How is attacking me supposed to be helpful. I am not as angry as I should be. I do not doubt it will come. I am still in shock. It was less than a week ago. I'm anxious and numb. You may not think those are normal emotions but they are mine. I want to reclaim him sexually which I was surprised at but it's apparently quite common. Who knew?

Is there something I'm not telling you? Not really. Unless its the utter extent of our fractured relationship since 2006. I'm not rewriting history. He was more ill than I imagine any of you believe. We were let down by the nhs and I was left traumatised. His psychiatrist said - if he kills himself, he kills himself. There's nothing I can do to stop it. He damn nearly did. I saw the ligature marks around his neck and the pressure effects from an aborted hanging around his eyes. I never dealt with it. I have not gone into our garage for 7 years as a result. Rug sweeping? Oh yes. I overprotected him ever since, made him feel unnecessary by damn near dressing him and he stayed in a child like state. Our sex life was rare and unsatisfying. I cried on many friends shoulders that he hadn't died but the man I loved was gone forever and I tried to learn to settle. I filled my time with work, hobbies and fantasies about Gene Hunt.
And he kept secrets from me because I didn't like anything he was doing in case it was too much. I wouldn't let him look for work.
We had another child to paper over the cracks
Then he started an inappropriate friendship with someone who was not a friend of the marriage. And eventually he obviously fucked her.
Not a rewrite, the facts. He has been an utter bastard. I love him. And now all the lies and little deceits - they were from both sides not EA type stuff from me but lies - are gone. I can see the man I thought had gone forever.
Someone said that infidelity was the worst thing they'd ever experienced. Not for me. Telling my 8 year old son his father might die was worse and at the time nobody in the so called caring professions gave a shit

Interestingly 4 real world friends, 2 who know DH well and 2 who don't. 2 divorced and happy and 2 married. They all think I'm doing the right thing. They know me. They know our history.

I think perhaps I should stick with them as I'm causing people concern on MN.

cantreachmytoes Thu 19-Sep-13 08:14:32

I've just come across this thread and read all the way through.

This has never happened to me, so I can't speak from personal experience.

Cliche is doing amazingly. Not because she's not feeling rage enough to want to rip him to shreds, but because she's following how she feels, being "authentic". In any situation that'd important.

As for it being wrong, as some are implying, that she's not full of rage, from what I understand (and imagine), this is one of the worst things that can happen in life, like the death of someone you're close to. Some people react in mourning by falling apart, others don't cry..until one day, out of the blue, it hits them.

OP, I can only imagine how this feels, but for what it's worth, I think you're getting through these horrific days in an amazing way.

Vivacia Thu 19-Sep-13 07:08:23

I think that there's an issue here of some of us wanting Cliche to be angry and vengeful and not let him get away with it so easily. Another group of us, overlapping with the first, want to protect Cliche from the hurt she might feel if/when the anger hits us and she regrets the intimacy and immediate forgiveness she's given.

I'm not convinced that cliche's way is wrong. Just because it wasn't my approach, doesn't mean she's wrong. But it is difficult to offer support.

Wellwobbly Thu 19-Sep-13 05:49:45

"The whole looking in my eyes special connection " - that is what an affair is. It is a fantasy bubble of mutual admiration, what did Shirley Glass say? 'Admiration of the self mirrorred in the affair partners eyes' or something.

The sex is a second to this apparently. OW after OW will say, you don't understand... we talked about everything.

You can sort of see how addictive it is, then.

Chumplady is a bit ruder: But really cheating just all boils down to – ego kibbles. Cheaters need ego kibbles. Lots and lots of kibbles. Shrinks call ego kibbles “narcissistic supply,” but I prefer to think in terms of Narcissist Ego Chow. Cheaters need to feed. They need lots and lots of validation that they’re special, sexy, and understood by only a special chosen few. Problem is, ego kibbles are not very sating, and so they always need more. Part of that problem is the cheater – they’ve got a hole in their soul where empathy and connection should be. So, a person can shovel ego kibbles at the cheater, but they don’t fill up.

The other part is the unfulfilling quality of ego kibbles themselves. Narcissistic supply is like bad chicken feed. It’s full of arsenic, dead chicken bits, and barnyard poop. It’s cheap, commercial grade filler. It’s crap.

What’s in a bag of Narcissist Ego Chow? Flattery. Attention. Easy sex. Admiration without accomplishment. Shallow attachment. Infatuation. Fantasy. Centrality.

Cheaters prefer kibbles to love. Love requires reciprocity and connection. Love is messy and demanding. Kibbles are easier.

LawofAverages Thu 19-Sep-13 03:46:08

I think posters are being a bit harsh on Cliche. Everyone reacts differently when they find out their partner has been having an affair. There is no 'correct' way to react - your feelings will arrive and change in their own time. Sometimes you will feel anger, sometimes hurt, sometimes confusion and sometimes even like everything is fine and you can forget about it all.

You may not be able to believe at a later stage when the anger hits you how calm or understanding you were at an earlier stage, but that doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you do each day what works for you to get you through that day. Especially in the early stages when it really is a case of one day at a time.

I did all sorts when I found out my ex had cheated (with a friend of mine). One day I would be so angry I would refuse to say a word to him, the next day I'd be playing happy families round at his parents' house as though everything was fine. In the end we did not stay together but that was not the end of the world and I at least felt like I'd gone about things on my terms.

I think you're doing really well Cliche, keep it up!

Absolutelylost Thu 19-Sep-13 02:23:27

*If someone I knew, who at been in my house, accepted my hospitality, pretended to be my friend then fucked my partner... my God I would want to bloody KILL them...
*

This happened to me.. She lives 200 yds away. We are in a tiny village and our DD's are in the same class. It hurts me daily and I'm still not sure how to deal with it.

youvegotmail Wed 18-Sep-13 21:34:16

Got to agree with Yellow - this doesn't seem like normal human emotion at work. You find out on Friday and by Tuesday you are making lots of love and planning lots of sex after the STI check to find out if your husband's lover's bi husband has give you the STI that you think you have?!? Er, ok...

Really odd. I think you'd benefit from some counselling, in a lot of ways.

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