Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

This is hard work (new thread EA update)

(63 Posts)
intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 03-Nov-13 13:41:03

Hi all. Starting a new thread to reflect 'new' start with DP - sorry, don't know how to link to previous thread. The short version for new readers is that my DP had an emotional affair, which is now over apart from one small thing, and we are supposedly reconnecting. I have been reading as much as I can, although it's hard to find uninterrupted time - there's always somebody wanting my attention, or more immediate jobs to be done eg tax return. DP has been having lots of early nights, so no adult talking has been done, and now he's ill. 3 days of a cold, groans, sighs, sniffles, coughs, and now his sinuses are playing up - steaming at 4am, hence more tired. Minor gigs are coming in for him, so a bit of extra income, but it's never good enough for him, so he practises more, complains that he's washed up, out of favour, etc etc - you get the jist. Oh and yesterday I changed my mind about something we'd planned to do do and got 'nothing I (DP)ever do is right!'
I want to talk about US, but he is all about HIM, and I never feel that I'll get a useful/helpful conversation if the time isn't right.
SO, any work I can do is on myself, and I've done a lot of reflecting about boundaries, especially in regard to previous relationships. I'm still looking for an appropriate counsellor for me (not convinced about Relate) - I think I need more than just relationship counselling - maybe something more deep rooted.
Apologies for the ramble - I'm ok, thanks to those who have asked, not great, but ok. have had long talk with ds and he seems more at ease.
Any advice about what else I could be doing greatly received.

tessa6 Fri 08-Nov-13 16:21:21

There are countless examples of people who feel the same and do the same as the OP when it comes to infidelity. Her actions are, I'm afraid, totally understandable and common. So common in fact that I'm starting to become convinced that there is a natural, sorry journey to these things (sometimes referred to more negatively as 'the script'). you can tell people all you want, but in the end THEY have to reach the end of THEIR tether before it changes. loss is too huge and fearful.

OP, you will keep having alternating 'fine' times and 'bad' times until you choose to put up with his continued relationship and repress all that does to you (which is the road you are on now). Or you insist he leave or leave yourself. That's all there is to it really. Without any sort of actual, lived consequence (outside of arguments and upset) no one really changes their ways. And especially not the narcissistic, dominant taking types that cheaters often are.

Deal with it how you like. And feel free to come back for support. But that will never change I'm afraid.

lolaisafuckertoo Fri 08-Nov-13 15:36:06

you know what I did? I spoke with no passion or inflection in my voice and such a low tone that he had to lean in to hear me. Just like he does. He mumbles, says "you what"? ALOT. So I used the precise tactics on him. When he said "you what?" I didn't repeat myself. I made myself sound as though I was discussing the price of bread. He was ery taken aback as he didn't retreat to his defensive position of silence and you have backed me into a corner.
Think I am to eloquent, verbally adept?
THen I shall say this in the simplest words I have available to me. He is an intelligent man but tends to choose when to be that.
What is there to "talk" about? YOu have discussed it all, what is happening now is simply raking over the remains. He has no idea what he is feeling so do not do it for him nor presume there is anything available there. The more you hunt for it, the more fog you are trying to herd. don't do this to yourself anymore.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 08-Nov-13 14:45:41

Earlier you were listing possible reasons for him being out of sorts, eg depression; SAD; mid life crisis.

If things seem to be improving, good. If you have his full attention, if he exerts himself to ask how you are, how your day was, what you'd like to do, good. If he makes a spontaneous gesture of affection before you do, good.

If you find yourself in a room with him and he's physically there but his eyes aren't showing any spark of interest, ask yourself what or whom he's thinking of. If you can't debate that episode with him for fear of him flouncing off or accusing you of going on about it, that's not really helpful. If you catch your breath any time he's late or his phone is not working, your peace of mind is AWOL. You say you love him, can you cope with that quiet dread of waiting for the axe to fall.

Onefewernow Fri 08-Nov-13 08:58:42

Ok, Faulk, that's what you want. It's what most of us want when first faced with infidelity.

You want it never to have happened. But it has. And the strategy you have been trying since summer isn't working for you, from what you have said.

Also, your H has a bit if a nerve blowing hot and cold on you.

What extra steps or boundaries are you prepared to take?

captainmummy Fri 08-Nov-13 08:42:59

Charlottecollins is right, faulk. You have been told time and time again that the only way to get some respect (from him; for yourself) is to get him to realise what he is throwing away. You haven't done that, for various reasons, but the point is still valid. Nothing will go forward (and will never go back) until he stops doing the one thing that is tearing you apart - Stop Seeing Her. I know you think he is not seeing her - but even if he is not, he is still not investing in your relationship. He is either mooning after her (if she is unattainable) or Still Seeing Her.

You want to trust and respect him again - you will never trust or respect him, until you know that he has chosen you. And the only way to do that, is to get him to choose; chuck him out and tell him not to come back unless he a)wants to, b) is prepared to go NC with OW AND c) prepared to give your relationship a lot, lot more.

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Thu 07-Nov-13 21:34:35

I think your reply is very understandable. You want to be back at a place before all this happened, when everything was simpler.

Unfortunately, you need your P's co-operation to get any closer to what you want. At the moment you are treading water, wishing what's real wasn't, and waiting for him to act.

If you were to stand up for yourself, tell him you will not tolerate this situation - and then act on that, then you would find out if there is any hope of salvaging your relationship, by how your P responds.

But the longer you sit and wait for life to happen around you, the longer P will have to get comfortable with the status quo - and the worse the prospect for your relationship is.

itsmeisntit Thu 07-Nov-13 20:53:04

Bet he thinks he is the dogs bollocks--2 females fawning over him.

What a player- what a twat. I find it hard to believe you could sit all cosied up to him knowing that he would be with the OW the next day.

He must be some catch for you to hang on so desperately. A man who is not prepared to put id DP first sad

MistAllChuckingFrighty Thu 07-Nov-13 20:51:38

I am similarly discombobulated sad

Fairenuff Thu 07-Nov-13 20:47:23

It's just so hard for posters to understand your logic Faulk. A lovely Monday, wrapped up in his arms, him promising not to neglect you. Then Tuesday he goes to his weekly meeting with the ow.

How can you reconcile yourself to this?

All you want is for him not to see her. That is all you've asked for and all you've ever wanted.

I don't understand you Faulk, I honestly cannot see how you can tolerate this situation and let it continue like this indefinitely.

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Thu 07-Nov-13 20:20:34

The book was funny (reminded me of an ex from about 30 yrs ago!)
Sorry not to update regularly - difficult to get alone time on the pc. I tried answering what I want earlier today, but my phone was playing up and my long reply never got posted.
I want this all to be over, I want to be happy again, I want to trust and respect dp again and to feel loving towards him, because I'm very ambivalent atm. We had a lovely evening on Monday, after I said we needed some 'us' time, we sat together, his arms around me, he apologised for all the 'early nights' and that he didn't mean me to feel neglected. This was lovely but now I feel vulnerable and hurt again because I allowed myself to feel something. * mistall* I'm sorry if my way of dealing with this isn't to your liking - I hope I've answered your question.

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Wed 06-Nov-13 21:17:43

Hopefully the OP is busy giggling guiltily at that little book she downloaded.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Wed 06-Nov-13 18:54:14

OP, you jump back in to your thread(s) and jump right back out again without taking any of the advice on board nor telling us any of your true feelings about the situation

Then a few weeks later you do it again, then do the disappearing act

What is it you want ? (genuine question)

Onefewernow Mon 04-Nov-13 23:33:53

What do you want, Inthedusk?

Can you say what you want to happen?

Onefewernow Mon 04-Nov-13 23:31:45

Hi there again.

You have spoken about how you think he feels a couple of times, but I was wondering how YOU feel?

I think you are angry. My counsellor helped me to see it is healthy to be angry and to express anger. The issue is how- so shouting isn't good and anyway doesn't work.

I think he is avoiding you, and you are in a bit of a cat and mouse situation. I t seems to me you are very unhappy.

Also, I notice that he does that old line " I never do anything right", or equivalent . This is a scam, and it is passive aggressive. He thinks he is doing plenty right. And at the same time he is diverting you to feel sorry for him. And to STFU.

Fairenuff Mon 04-Nov-13 22:50:41

how do you get your DP to talk

Hi Faulk - there is only one way to get him to talk to you.

This is the hardest thing to understand. If you want a relationship with him, you have to leave him.

Only then will he notice you.

Can you understand this. The way to save your relationship is to leave it.

Everything else will fall into place. If he wants to be with you he will come after you. He will want to talk, he will want to change, he will want to listen to you and make you happy.

But as long as you stay with him, none of that can happen.

captainmummy Mon 04-Nov-13 19:59:39

Oh Faulk - this thread is going exactly the same as the others; 'chuck him out', 'show him what he is losing', 'is it hard for you to see him going to her every week?'...

I wonder why that is?

Is it because nothing has actually changed? You may have a bit more insight, due to reading the right books, but you have not done anything. Nothing will change, until you change it. Show him you mean business.

cosydressinggown Mon 04-Nov-13 17:11:55

OP - does it not rip you up inside every week that he goes there for that 'music lesson'? Knowing that she knows you are unhappy with it, but that he has chosen what she wants over what you want? Knowing that they probably chat (and who knows what else) in that time?

This is the crux of the thing as far as I can see. Every single week he shits on your relationship and your feelings, in favour of her. How can you bear it and talk about fixing things when this is what he is doing???

lovetheprintedword Mon 04-Nov-13 17:09:39

Could you try going to bed at the same time as him for a week or two? When he says 'I think I'll turn in' or whatever at 9ish say 'Oh yes, me too' and go with him.

Then you can a) stop him from doing whatever he's doing in bed (presumably texting her) - you'll see his frustration at being thwarted and his inability to actually sleep at that time of night every day and know something is going on, and b) seeing as he's not sleeping and you're together, you can talk!

I'd also wait until he's asleep and then find the phone. Under his pillow probably or under the mattress at his side, to be removed in the morning. Or I'd sneak up and secretly spy on him/burst in on him in bed. But that's just me.

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Mon 04-Nov-13 16:49:29

Charlotte - thank you. I've just downloaded it and will read asap. Yes, it occurred to me too that he has a new phone, and I have searched high and low for it. IF it exists. I guess he could be keeping it in his underpants - haven't visited there for a while.

MollyWhuppie Mon 04-Nov-13 15:34:06

He has a secret phone and is texting her when he goes to bed early. No amount of talking is going to stop him treating you like this.

captainmummy Mon 04-Nov-13 13:51:02

Great post Tessa.
Printedword - quite right, he is not treating OP as an equal partner in this relationship; i wonder if he ever did. Faulk - yes you have may 'saved' your relationship, in that it is still going, but it is broken, can't you see that? He doesn't respect you, not as an equal partner, he just wants you to STFU so he can carry on with his life, whilst you do the kids/house/cooking etc, to make his life as smooth as it can be whilst he is doing whatever he likes, with whomever. He doesn't see any need to go to counselling, or to stop the lessons, or to change his behaviour at all. Why should he? Why on earth would he change it, when it's lovely as it is, thanks! He knows that you can/will do nothing - there is no incentive for him to change anything. (And he's got you now really scared to raise any issues - he can accuse you of talking like a mum/child/angry or your face is doing something he doesn't like, or ... so you say nothing. That suits him fine)

And i instantly thought - he has a new PAYG phone. As soon as I saw that he is 'tired' and goes to bed early (avoiding you) - yep, he has a new phone.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Nov-13 11:41:57

Is he doing enough to make you happy OP? He seems to have perfected the 'make DW feel guilty about what I've done' trick - whether or not he was ever seriously pursuing OW, he knew you were unhappy about him devoting so much time to her. He wallowed in his EA and in refusing to break contact with her, he really threatened this marriage.

Now you have a hollow victory - he is under the same roof - he mopes about being a martyr while you're scared to upset him.

You say, "He is all about HIM". I'm afraid this is the truth. Once upon a time things were good. Your prince has turned into a frog.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 04-Nov-13 11:24:43

OP, you give such good advice on other threads. It's a great shame you don't seem able to accept it for your own self sad

lovetheprintedword Mon 04-Nov-13 11:19:15

I'm sorry he's being so awful inthedusk You deserve better and I guess what you're saying is that you are trying to work out how to teach yourself to believe that! We can all see that you are worth more.

It's dead easy to sit on a keyboard and tell you what to say or do. It's not so easy when it's your life. I bet you half of us wouldn't find it so easy to LTB or tell him this or that.

However - what does the future look like for you if you don't? Are you going to be with a man who fell in love/attraction with someone else, and wasn't even sorry enough to give up contact with her? Who respected you so little? Who treats you like a nagging mother not an equal who deserves partnership and honesty.

I've noticed a few threads where you've said he makes breakfast in bed, hoovers, cooks the tea etc as his signs that he's trying hard, and I'm afraid this just stays in the nagging mother/child parameters. Firstly, why shouldn't he do all those things anyway, when you are equal partners running a home?, and secondly, those things do not cancel out the other, less practical, more emotional things he owes you.

If you are going to move forward together, you HAVE to be able to talk to each other about whatever is on your minds, whenever it is on your mind. Even if it's going to cause a blazing row, or you've said it all before, or you have a 'certain look on your face'. You just have to. If you don't think you can talk to him, that's just the end.

I wish I could make you see that his response is so, so wrong. Even going to bed early is wrong. He should be doing everything in his power to make you feel loved, respected, desired and cherished, after the way he has behaved.

Unfortunately, by saying you'd leave if he didn't stop the lessons, and then not leaving, you have effectively given him permission to do whatever the hell he wants.

Are you sure he hasn't got another (PAYG) phone that you don't know about?

Finally, there's a phrase that partners of addicts are often taught, but I think it's useful in a wider context for other difficult behaviours - it's worth remembering that you didn't cause this, and you can't control his behaviour, and you can't fix it on your own.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 04-Nov-13 00:32:54

To summarise:

1) he is still seeing the OW and nothing you have said is going to stop him

2) you are supposed to be "reconnecting" but he won't even talk to you and avoids you every chance he can get (early nights, complaints of ManFlu etc)

3) you are now so self conscious about your facial expression and tone of voice you daren't even open your mouth, therefore he has effectively used various tactics to make you STFU and every single one has been very effective

4) you seem to think you have reassured your son that everything is ok (not forgetting he was so distressed at witnessing his father's inappropriate relationship he had to bring it up with you). How is that possible though, when he is still seeing the same dynamic at play that allowed his father to treat you with such disrespect in the first place

OP, you truly are going round in ever-decreasing circles. What would it take for you to simply get off the merry-go-round ?

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