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revenge affairs

(78 Posts)
batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 11:48:23

Has anyone else done this?

My dh told me he had had a brief affair with a colleague a few months back. It was over at the time he told me but he had slept with her twice unprotected. It was devastating, we have a young baby and an older child with sn. We are now going to relate and I have had some cbt but still finding it really hard to live with.

My immediate reaction was that our relationship would never improve and in a state of confusion and feeling really low I joined a dating site (I told him this) and had a brief fling with someone followed by an emotional affair which turned physical as a one off. Not seen or heard from him since, not contacted anyone else but the aftermath is obviously very complicated as we have both cheated, we are both liars. I think I thought it would help me with the crippling jealousy which tbh it has a little but I still obsess over the other woman every day and have lost all confidence.

Anyone else? The relate counsellor said our situation is unusual, not the affair but my reaction. To me it was the only thing I felt I could do to distract me though, surely I can't be the only one?

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 12:20:49

Perhaps if no one is in the same position someone could just help me with experience of managing the next few years ? I just feel so devastated all the time. Dh is sorry, we have been over how it got that bad but this feeling of loss is just unbearable. Even when I am happy its only while I am distracted enough to forget for a minute.

Should have said,have name changed for this as know some people in rl

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 12:23:48

I suspect what you had was not a revenge affair, as such. More an expression of your own loss of confidence (ie. desperate for any male validation that you were desirable). It seems to have badly backfired in that it has left you feeling worse about yourself rather than any sense of vindication. I'm certain you're not the only one that has ever done this but I'm horrified that you now seem to see your actions as somehow making you as bad as your appalling partner. I don't think the two are at all equivalent.

The reason you are still obsessing is because you now seem to feel trapped by this sick quid pro quo obligation. I suggest you stop being angry with the OW, stop berating yourself and start finding the fury you should be directing towards him... the true villain of the piece.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 12:25:06

Sometimes 'sorry' doesn't cut it...

AnyFucker Germany Mon 07-Oct-13 12:29:29

It's ok to not forgive your husband for what he did. It's ok if you can't ever get past it. I think your ill judged affair was you desperately trying to give yourself a reason to forgive him (if you could see yourself as being just as bad as he is)

Some things really are unforgiveable. For me, this is one of them.

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 12:31:27

Thank you . I think you are right sadly.

I find it hard being around him at the moment but have no option because of the children, complicated situation but need two adults all the time because of eldests sn.

I am angry with the ow because she knew he was married and knew there was a small baby and still went ahead. There wasn't much conversation other than sexual stuff but I know she said oh no but you are married etc but then did it anyway and I obsess over how anyone could do that.

I think overall my affairs were positive for me believe it or not as both were nice guys , one was a lot of fun and made me feel I could forget stuff and the other was in a similar situation. It's him that I miss as I had support from him at a horrible time but I know it wouldn't be right to stay in touch and that the feelings weren't really real anyway if that makes sense.

I really feel that in relate sessions there has been pressure for me to put it all behind us as we are on an equal level now but I would never have done it if I wasn't betrayed.

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 12:33:36

Did the dating site guy know you were married?

I've certainly heard about people who've done just this- shock's a weird thing.

I'm more shocked that a relate counsellor told you it was unusual. I'd have thought a reasonably experienced counsellor would have come across this a few times.

Was the counsellor a man or a woman, out of interest?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 12:39:04

Pressure on you is right. You'll often see references to F.O.G (Fear Obligation Guilt) in dysfunctional relationships and you've got the lot in spades. It's preventing you from moving forward and being happy. The eldest DC my have SN but surely you can come to some arrangement where you can successfully co-parent without necessarily being in a relationship together?

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 12:40:27

A woman. I thought the same, it was the only reaction possible for me.I wonder if she meant the dating site element was unusual. In which case I bet it won't always be as its getting so popular for meeting people.

Both guys knew I was married but only the emotional affair one knew the full situation. The first one just took me out a couple of times and I never went into t all in detail just that my marriage wasn't going to work but I didn't want a relationship. The second knew everything. I am still unsure of what happened with him as it was all very intense , I think he was as troubled as me but equally he could have been more aware of how vulnerable I was.

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 12:42:02

We discussed that then decided we wanted to be together. I am up and down with it. I think we had serious issues to begin with that we were burying.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 12:48:29

Deciding you want to be together is a very logical, rational position to take. No problem with that. But, after a such a traumatic and very personal blow to the relationship, it's not your logical or rational self that has to deal with the aftermath. You can't make yourself like someone.

Leverette Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:46

Don't allow yourself to be troubled by or to ruminate upon the counsellor's judgement about whether our behaviour was 'unusual' or not.

It frustrates and disappoints me to hear of yet another example of a Relate counsellor making judgements and pronouncement on the rich and diverse tapestry of human behaviour, with the net result of leaving the vulnerable person feeling abnormal, criticised, odd.

OP I'm sure loads of betrayed people of both sexes have done what you have, just as others have put prawns in curtain rails, harrassed via text, all the myriad ways humans can respond to deep emotional trauma. Be kind to yourself flowers

pantsonbackwards Mon 07-Oct-13 12:56:26

I keep hearing bad things about relate and this is no different. There shouldn't be pressure on you to just put it behind you! Relate seems (from what I've heard on here) to be about both taking blame for the affair and burying it all under the carpet.

But in my opinion the only one to blame is the one who did it, who chose that course of action. And i don't believe you can just put it behind you without the unfaithful partner dealing with whatever it was about THEM that had them choosing that course of action.

Sorry, I've never been to relate, just keep hearing things like this on here. It seems that they set out to save all marriages regardless of what one is putting the other through and what that means for the one who has been cheated on.

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 12:59:10

Sorry my kindle battery is low so keen l coming and going but back s opp on as it sees fit to work!

AnyFucker Germany Mon 07-Oct-13 13:04:06

I don't, in general, have good opinions on Relate. I am sure there are exceptions but they do seem to focus very much on what is wrong with a relationship whilst ignoring the massive elephant in the room. Unfortunately, this often reinforces the self blame experienced by the cheated-upon and pretty much vindicates the cheater.

I wonder what the "relapse" rate ie. cheaters who cheat again is following joint relationship counselling.

Justconfused Mon 07-Oct-13 13:08:45

I did exactly the same as you and had a revenge affair via someone I met online - it is over now - I do not regret it. When I found out my partner was cheating I think I actually lost myself - I certainly would never have done it without his own infidelity. We went to a Relate trained counsellor who was just dreadful - it was excruciating and we have not gone back. I do not think that you and I are so unusual at all !

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:10:35

Right, have come up to use DHs computer, I decided who cares if he reads this.

Thank you so much everyone.

Yes I think relate would have been brilliant pre the affair and the stuff we have done on our problems (his OCD and my previous relationship issues< our incredibly stressful home life) have been really helpful but I am not sure that we have really addressed the affair properly, it felt at first that all we did was discuss my issues-ie why I have to go to men for reassurance. He essentially went to her for reassurance as he felt I didn't fancy him and regretted marrying him. Perhaps I did feel like that a bit at the time too. But no excuse and I feel like all this put the past behind you stuff excuses anything. Which is why when I went back one week and said last week I slept with someone else I felt almost like a stroppy teenager as I felt like saying ah but that was last week, it was in the past!

Justconfused Mon 07-Oct-13 13:11:49

The Relate counsellor seemed quite desperate to blame me too - the reality was that my cheating DH was acting like a self entitled shit. My 'crime' was having breast cancer btw

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:12:01

justconfused hello, glad I am not alone! I don't regret what I did either but can see I was lucky really as I was so vulnerable it could have gone very badly.

How is your relationship now if you don't mind saying?

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:15:09

That is interesting, the person I met with had come across a similar situation! That must have been horrendous, did your partner actually say that was the reason?

I actually felt bad to begin with that I hadn't given my dh enough attention and reassurance bu t the reality was the situation I was in was so hard that I could only cope with that.

Justconfused Mon 07-Oct-13 13:18:02

It's pretty bad to be honest - I look at him and cannot believe the pain he has caused me. Not sure if I want to stay with him. At the same time though I do love him - not like I used to though. He knows nothing about the revenge affair and I feel there is no need to. Still undecided if counselling will be worthwhile for us.

Justconfused Mon 07-Oct-13 13:20:33

My DH is a man child unfortunately OP and me having cancer was one of numerous excuses that he has given me over the last 6 months

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:22:23

My dh does know but I was fairly open about the fact I didn't feel I had the same boundaries around being faithful anymore so I don't feel I gave him anything like the shock he gave me.

How long has it been for you? That must be very hard to deal with I am sorry its still so painful.

The issue I have too is my DH is now really paranoid every time I go out and I have to remind him that its because he isn't trustworthy! Its just such a shock, he always had seemed so devoted and as if he would do anything for me. Our friends and family would be really shocked.(onle one friend knows)

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:22:39

My dh does know but I was fairly open about the fact I didn't feel I had the same boundaries around being faithful anymore so I don't feel I gave him anything like the shock he gave me.

How long has it been for you? That must be very hard to deal with I am sorry its still so painful.

The issue I have too is my DH is now really paranoid every time I go out and I have to remind him that its because he isn't trustworthy! Its just such a shock, he always had seemed so devoted and as if he would do anything for me. Our friends and family would be really shocked.(onle one friend knows)

batterylow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:24:47

I saw a thread about that! I nearly looked then thought it may make me more angry, I had bad opinions on men pre dh and feel so stupid now that when he told me the ow flirted with him on a night out I just laughed, I trusted him so much.

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