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Do I give him a second chance?

(104 Posts)
Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 14:06:47

Can anyone tell me how you decide whether to let go or hang on to a relationship?

I am in a difficult situation during a very unexpected separation which both of us regret and wish had not happened. He thinks we are working towards getting back together. I feel like this some days, but other days I feel like it is just over.

Without going into too many specifics we were very happy until a few months ago. Before this happened, I would have never believed I would ever consider splitting up with him. I loved him completely and everything about the relationship was fantastic.

He did something to me that I find hard to forgive. No OW, no violence. Just something that made me doubt absolutely everything and I can't seem to see "us" in the way I used to.

He let me down big time. I do forgive him for it. There were extenuating circumstances, but at the same time it still happened.

Can anyone tell me if when you feel like this it is best to either give it a try and see what happens, or whether it is best to just walk away on the basis that "if it's meant to be it will be".

The situation is very complicated and while I don't want to drip feed I also don't want to make this post really long and confusing.

salonmeblowy Wed 22-Jan-14 15:45:57

Layla, what struck me is that you said there is now way you would ever forgive anyone else for treating you the way he has. I think it shows healthy boundaries.

I don't think making an exception for him now is in your best long term interests. Family and partners should be a soft place to fall, they should treat you better and with more understanding than others. If anything, I demand much more of DH and my family than I would of strangers, because I let them very close to me.

In order to enjoy close relationships at all, I have to feel that it is OK for me to be vulnerable with people I love/like. IME and IMO that is what intimacy and closeness is built on, feeling safe enough to be oneself and still be loved. Once that feeling of safety is gone, I think I would really struggle to carry on.

I am sorry this happened to you, whatever he did it clearly shook you.

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:50:28

salonmeblowy...I think I mis phrased...I meant I could never forgive any of the other partners I had in my life for this.

But yes, all my feelings of safety are gone.

It's very difficult to move on when you still love someone as much as before, but as the previous poster said he essentially did something that risked our relationship and regretted it later.

He did do it when under lot of pressure and in fairly significant extenuating circumstances but he still risked us 100%

Twinklestein Wed 22-Jan-14 15:51:17

I guess it comes down to how remorseful he is & how much effort he is willing to put into the rebuilding the relationship, and whether you believe he is sincere.

I would be completely honest with him, that a certain % of the time you feel like it's over. That will confront him with the reality of the task ahead.

Without knowing the details it's hard to say, but from what you've said here I might give it a go & see what happens - and if it doesn't work you will know conclusively that it's totally over.

Twinklestein Wed 22-Jan-14 15:53:23

I think pressure and circumstances are a red herring tbh, many people wouldn't be tempted under those conditions...

salonmeblowy Wed 22-Jan-14 15:54:10

May I ask a question which will sound very cold? Please, don't feel the need to respond if you feel hurt by it.

Apart from your current emotional involvement with your OH (which I am not dismissing at all), what makes him so special? Why is he allowed to cross a boundary that you would allow no other partner to cross?

neiljames77 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:55:06

Whatever it is, it sounds like it's one of those things that you can't get out of your mind. If when you've got quiet moments, you're thinking about it over and over, it'll eat away at you. If what he did was completely out of character and he's genuinely remorseful, you might be able to forgive and forget.
If everything else apart from this blip was good, you might have a chance of repairing it and moving on, especially if as you say, it's unlikely he'd ever be faced with the possibility or opportunity to do this again.(I hope it's not something absolutely terrible and I'm telling you to "forget" about it)

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:58:03

I would be completely honest with him, that a certain % of the time you feel like it's over. That will confront him with the reality of the task ahead.

That actually sounds like a pretty good solution to it for now. Maybe it;s a case that with things like this you don't know how you really feel until much later.

I read in a book once about marriage that everyone has a bank account with every other person, and each positive experience is a deposit and each negative experience is a withdrawal. If it's a REALLY negative experience it's a big withdrawal.

So, for example, a big hug is a deposit of 1 point. Them driving 3 hours to pick you up is a deposit of 10. Each person in your life builds up a balance.

He has a balance of probably a million with me. So many nice things, so much love, so many good experiences.

What he has done through has pretty much been a withdrawal of monumental proportions and it is only because he had a balance of a million to start with that I am even speaking to him at all.

I am unsure of how big a withdrawal it was. I think is might have been hundreds of thousands of points in one go smile Or maybe even a million sad

It was a very complicated blip, but one where he did something reprehensible but for understandable reasons. Morally, I have absolved him of guilt but emotionally...I just would not have done it.

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:02:03

salonmeblowy I think I explained that in the post above (x-post). He made so many deposits in my bank. No one has ever made me more happy. Made me feel more loved. Been there for me more. I just loved him. I can't explain but for me he was the ONE! He said I was too, then let me down.

neiljames77 yes it was totally out of character (soooooo far out of character I did not believe it actually happened) and he is very remorseful.

I think the thing was on such a big scale that there is no "repairing". I think it's a case of starting again from scratch. I just need to decide if I even want to.

A part of me would prefer to walk away and I never thought I would ever hear myself say that.

neiljames77 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:26:54

It sounds so bad I don't think you'll get over it.
If you started from scratch, it's more than likely that it'll be brought up in every subsequent argument. it'd be a completely different relationship for both of you. You, being the one who can't get over what he's done. Him being the one on the back foot all the time being apologetic and remorseful. It'd only be a matter of time before one, or both of you, decide that enough's enough.

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:32:33

Yes. Sounds right

BeforeAndAfter Wed 22-Jan-14 16:46:58

For me it came down to my peace of mind in the end. XH breached my trust with a 10 month affair. Despite trying to make the marriage work I simply had no peace of mind and always fretted that he was texting her or seeing her. Knowing that he lied over and over during those 10 months meant that I could never believe him again, no matter how much I wanted to.

For me it came down to my happiness and peace of mind. Once upon a time I was at my happiest in the company of XH and after discovery I was increasingly unhappy and fretful. Once I'd considered the prospect of spending the rest of my life like that it was easy to leave him.

I would apply that thought process to other forms of deceit too.

salonmeblowy Wed 22-Jan-14 16:52:25

Yes, sorry, x-posted.

Interesting to look at OH/family as depositing something in your bank when they are kind. Very helpful analogy, but I tend to think of relationships less in terms of how much they do for you and more in terms of whether you are happy with the level of reciprocity. You may feel as though he deposited millions in your bank account over the years, but I am guessing you have been rather nice to him too. The relationship must have been mutually satisfying if it was as good as you describe, so you probably deposited millions in his bank. I gather his deposit is still intact? I understand why you want to give him a chance, but wonder whether part of you feels as though you owe it to him. I don't think you do.

What would you expect him to do if the roles were reversed? Can you imagine acting towards him the way he acted towards you?

WRT your statement about the behaviour being out of character. It may seem very black and white, but he did it so it wasn't. I did a lot of things I am not proud of, but I would not describe any of them as out of character.

I also think that starting from scratch is unrealistic if you have already been together for 6 years.

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:06:44

No, I don't feel I owe it to him at all. No one could blame me for walking away in the circumstances. I was more scared of cutting off my nose to spite my face. Walking away from someone who I love because they hurt me. Not being brave enough to take a risk.

If the roles were reversed, he would forgive me. I know this for sure. this is one of the things that had made me hang on.

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:08:24

There were no lies involved in this one. He never lied

neiljames77 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:18:20

Was it impossible for him to lie about it because you already knew the facts and it would have been ridiculous even trying to lie, or was it something he felt guilty about and told you, hoping you'd understand and forgive him?

salonmeblowy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:20:11

It's a very difficult one.

I think it may hinge on two things: a) whether you'd be able to live with what he has done b) if you'd be able to cope in a relationship with a very different degree of emotional risk than you signed up for.

I am sorry you have been let down.

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:22:45

All right, I think without divulging the actual specifics I can say it was a case of him abandoning me when I needed him very badly.

ppeatfruit Wed 22-Jan-14 17:30:46

But we're all only human, we're not infallible any of us (even the Pope grin) IMO ans E a lot of men are thoughtless they don't weigh up the consequences of their actions at all.

It's got to be your decision but IIWM I'd give the relationship and him a chance.

Twinklestein Wed 22-Jan-14 17:34:42

Was there anyone else involved? Where was he when you needed him?

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:36:32

Do you think your actions display your deepest feelings?

Or can you sometimes do something that genuinely has no reflection on your feelings that you really, really regret?

Layla0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:38:19

No, there was no one else involved. He just could not handle the situation and left me alone

Kewcumber Wed 22-Jan-14 17:40:21

Do you think he would make the same decision again in the same circumstances?

BloodyUseless Wed 22-Jan-14 17:41:57

Ok so we're talking about something like you were in danger and he saved his skin leaving you in danger?

You ask whether what we do reflects our deepest feelings? I think so.

However, our deepest feelings also include things we don't necessarily want to feel, our deepest animalistic tendencies. In a case like I've presumed that could be fear. Although you might like to think that someone who loves you will put you ahead of themselves every time, in a very desperate situation personal survival may trump everything.

Obviously you haven't said that's the situation but my example is merely to suggest what we do doesn't reflect what we believe, just how we handle a particular situation.

salonmeblowy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:43:33

I don't necessarily think it matters if he did what he did out of thoughtlessness or lack of love for you. But, if the crisis you were in was as serious as you suggest, I don't necessarily think that matters. He may love you with all his heart, but it may still not be enough.

Have you ever been in similarly challenging circumstances where he stood by your side and was your rock? Does he have form for folding when the going gets tough?

I understand why you are struggling, I would find it very hard to forgive and forget, because I want someone who I can rely on in a crisis, not a fair-weather flake.

BloodyUseless Wed 22-Jan-14 17:44:36

If I was asked how I would act in a highly dangerous situation, I'm not sure I could guarantee it was necessarily in the most "heroic" manner as much as I would like to think I would. Again, I may be way off the mark.

Ok here's another way of putting it, what percentage of men do you think would act in the way your husband did in this situation? Or is gender irrelevant?

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