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How to get through splitting up from cheating "D"H

(48 Posts)
barking123 Fri 28-Feb-14 10:32:02

Have finally split up from cheating DH. His behaviour during the marriage was far from great and then the discovery of a long term affair has been the final straw. It is definitely final and am feeling incredibly upset and angry about it all. Emotionally I am a complete wreck.

I don’t want DH back anymore but just very sad as the dreams of a happy family and the future that we had planned are over. Am really worried of how I will cope with the loneliness of being a single parent. Been really teary and for various reasons I don’t have much support in RL at the moment. I literally gave up everything for DH so everything has to be rebuilt from scratch. I do have a lovely DC though.

There has got to be a better way than just sitting around in tears. Realise I should probably be doing stuff to take my mind off it. I have so many errands / paperwork to do I just feel that I should be doing that can’t bring myself to do it. Am so tempted to email the OW and to give her a blasting. He even took DC on some of their dates.

It is still early days so hopefully the upset and tears will subside. Any advice or hand-holding would be much appreciated.

Sortyourmakeupout Fri 28-Feb-14 10:42:49

Barking, I will hold your hand, both of them if needs be.

It's shit isn't it.

Don't email the ow.

LilyBlossom14 Fri 28-Feb-14 10:57:20

I agree do not under any circumstances email the ow.

Try and set yourself a task each day, even if it just calling Council Tax or sommat - break things down into manageable chunks. Lean on your friends, try your utmost to eat and drink little and often. You will be ok and you will feel better soon. Oh and have minimum contact with him too.

fruityloopy Fri 28-Feb-14 11:00:18

I'm almost 6 months post split and it's not been easy.. But, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

Treat yourself kindly, wrap yourself up and take things one day at a time. It's a slow recovery - I've been told by friends who have unfortunately been through it that it generally takes a year.

It's like the process of grief, there will be tears and anger a plenty.
I was also in huge denial for sometime and infact still am as I have friends I've not even told

I guess the biggest thing I've found is to just focus on you and the children (I have a 3 year old daughter) how old are your children?
Remember you are not in the wrong, you didn't mess it up he did.
Children are resilient and they will cope.

I wouldn't waste energy on emailing the OW - though certainly write it and don't send! I spent too long texting and threatening 'D'H with all that sort of thing and in the end it drove me far madder than it did him.

Do you have finances in place ? That would be something you need to make sure of. Are you able to keep the home running ?

Sorry, this is more of a ramble than trying to make a specific point, but just want to say, unfortunately there are a lot of women going through this and whilst it does suck - it does get better.

Onmyownwith4kids Fri 28-Feb-14 11:19:59

I'm going through exactly what you're going through. I read your other thread about your husband showing no real effort to win you back. I know how you feel as I feel exactly the same. I don 't want him back but am terrified of the future as a single parent. I 'm trying to focus on the positive of what came out of the relationship. Our lovely children. When I feel unloved I think of the huge love I have for them and that they give me back. I have waves of utter despair but I keep reminding myself I had an amazing life before my husband and will again. I'm trying not to let my thoughts, feelings and life be taken over. By a weak pathetic, cheating man. I hope you feel better soon. At least we no longer have to live with the lies

I posted on your other thread as well.
But just take it a bit at a time.
For now it will be minute by minute and hour by hour.
Soon it will be day by day.
Then week by week.
And things start to improve.
But for now, just cry as much as you want and do whatever you want (other than contact OW - that's never a good idea).
Find that anger towards your H - he did this to you.
I probably spent hours and hours and days and days in corners, curled up sobbing my heart out. You can cry for what you have lost, what your H has taken away from you.
But you need to get friends and family to rally around for you.
Without my friends and family I really don't know how I'd of coped with it all. They kept me sane and kept me going.
Get in touch with them now and get them to come round and just be with you. Chat about mundane stuff to get a few minutes brain space away from thinking about this.
You will get through this. It will take time. Do not expect to feel perfectly OK in the next few days or weeks. That just won't happen.
Take every day as it comes and manage as best you can for now.
Drink and eat what you can.
Really feel for you on this - so many of us have been there and it's not nice, but things will improve - believe us all when we tell you that.

Allalonenow Fri 28-Feb-14 11:37:07

I know how much it will all be hurting you just now, and how much pain you are in, but it does get easier with time.
Take things slowly, just do what you can each day. Do try to eat and drink though, even simple meals like sandwiches or eggs will help you get through.

Don't bother with the OW, she hasn't betrayed you. Save your energy to look after yourself and your children.

Take care, sending you courage and hope.

fruityloopy Fri 28-Feb-14 11:39:56

Everybody makes such valid & poignant points and I'm so sorry so many of us have to be in this situation..

I think something I just thought of was something that hellsbells says.

Do try and find someone to confide in in RL - it may not be the first person that you think of or a particularly close friend but sure you have someone you can chat things through with that you are comfortable with. I know I certainly didn't run around telling all and sundry, I just hung out with and took comfort with friends that didn't judge or express an opinion and who would just let me talk if and when I wanted too.. I found it easier to not keep going round and round in circles and to just sort it out in my head at first myself.

The practical tip is also good - claiming single person discount on the Council Tax made me feel good in some senses as it meant more money for us!

I like the comment weak pathetic cheating man - try and focus on the fact that that is what he is. Rise above it and don't let him see your anger, hurt and frustration. I lost weight from being so destroyed and incapable of eating - in the long term I now feel good for that, my friend went straight out and had a new and funky haircut, treat yourself to something too.

redundantandbitter Fri 28-Feb-14 11:43:27

A male friend of Exp (that I hardly knew) was kind and said "I feel your pain" when exp left me . Your pain comes through in your post and I feel for you. I guess you have to literally wade through the pain and hurt and take each hour as it comes. You may find you have a terrible day and cry and sink into the grief and then the next day you are exhausted and flat. Then it starts again. But it will get less painful, less awful, less tearful.

Have you had chance to think about counselling possibly?

Also medication - edpecially if you feel you aren't getting through the everyday tasks and looking after Dc's . AD's really do help.

Don't think of 'getting over' the pain and hurt. It helps me to think that I just get used to living with it. It sits next to me on my emotional sofa (if that doesn't sound too wanky). Some days I notice it more than others. I'm 5 months on. It's still there but despite it, I still have a life.

Please find a RL person to talk to. Being on your own ain't that bad, trust me. You'll do much better than you think.

barking123 Fri 28-Feb-14 12:15:34

Thanks for the postings. It is helping hearing other’s experiences and knowing that life does (eventually) get better. There has been lots of tears and anger and, like onmyown, waves of despair. I go for an hour feeling a bit better and then almost out of nowhere I burst into tears again. The anger seems to alternate with the tears.

I know its shit but I should count my blessings that I have a lovely DC and fortunately I don’t need to worry too much about money. I do need emotional support though and I must take active steps to do something about this. I really feel for you onmyown – it must be very tough with four children but you sound very strong and that you are coping admirably with it, so kudos to you. It is just shit though that whilst we do the hard slog of being a parent the husbands are out cheating and that we are the ones who have to suffer for it whilst everything seems to work out great for them (I can see that I’m probably going to be very good at being a bitter ex-wife!).

Why do people think its such a bad idea to contact OW? It is probably petty but I just feel that she has “got away with it” without realizing (or probably caring) about the hurt that she has caused – not just to me but to DC as well. DC keeps on asking for DH (it is probably not helped by DH spending a small fortune on toys). I am furious that she was happy to go along with DH bringing DC on dates (DC was too young to talk). I realize affairs happen, but allowing the DC to come on the dates as well? Even if he is not decent enough to realize that this is so very wrong I would have thought that any woman with any decency at all would have said that it is not appropriate bringing DC along on dates. I just feel that is this another level of shitness. Because she works for DH too she has also come out extremely well financially. Wouldn't be surprised if they end up getting married.

Have bought some st john’s wort and I think the suggestion of just aiming to do one thing a day is a good one. I may go and see my gp too.

LilyBlossom14 Fri 28-Feb-14 12:24:19

If you contact the OW it will make you look like a banshee bunny boiler and will justify him leaving you - or that is what it will be twisted to look like. She has her 'prize' - a cheat who treats women like rubbish. Your relationship was with him and not her. Don't forget he will have told her you don't understand him, you treat him like rubbish, he was so desperately unhappy with you - whatever lies he has pedalled to justify his own dishonour. If you contact her you are backing up his lies. She hasn't got away with anything. She doesn't have any decency - but you do, and you have your pride too. And the best thing you can do is be utterly silent. Yes, tell friends and family what he has done, but you must never speak to her about it. Golden rule really.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 28-Feb-14 12:24:32

She has no decency.

He has no decency.

What they did to your children shows that they are a pair of utter scumbags.

talullah57 Fri 28-Feb-14 12:33:15

By all means write to OW but DO NOT send it. You need in time to see that she is NOTHING. NOTHING. When you think of the bint, treat her like a speck of dust on your shoulder and flick it off. You will do a lot of flicking but she does not merit anything else. Certainly not the ink from your pen.
I am in a very similar situation to yours although I haven't posted my story here yet as it is just too painful.
I did get some propranalol from doctor which are betablockers prescribed for severe anxiety and they really do take the edge of that sick feeling in your stomach without making your groggy. I certainly recommend. Take as much advice from all these lovely people here, some who are further along this journey than you or I. I wish you well. It's very hard.

Allalonenow Fri 28-Feb-14 12:33:27

Reasons for not contacting OW are many and varied barking smile

It will use up a huge amount of emotional energy that can be better spent in looking after yourself and your DC.

She already knows he has a wife and family, so you are not telling her anything new. Knowing he had a wife and family she still went ahead with their relationship, so how likely are you to make her feel bad or guilty now?

He might well use it to "prove" that you are the mad, bad and dangerous to know woman he may well have painted you as.

She may seem to have "won", yes, but she has won a lying cheating slime ball who will cheat on her too.

Get yourself a treat of a bunch of daffs or some chocolate, put your favourite music on, and try to forget the pair of them for a few minutes.

Rightallalong Fri 28-Feb-14 12:38:31

I contacted the OW.

I was on the phone for less than a minute but I was delighted by the shock and actual fear in her voice. It's been 8 weeks and as he couldn't give me a straight story - I picked up the phone.

It didn't achieve much really, I was a lady but I just told her that whatever had gone on between her and Ex 'D'P, that it had trashed our family, our home, our Son's life and my relationship. She had nothing to say to that but I got to tell her exactly what I wanted her to hear.

I get the impression that because ex was more into her and she wasn't interested in a proper relationship in the end - that she feels she had nothing to do with it. She knew about us, she still carried on with him, spent the whole Christmas break texting and messaging him while he was with us and she apparently acted as a one-sided marriage counsellor. She was happy to take his money in restaurants and bars and the gifts he bought her.

I had to say something - but I waited. Waited until I wasn't a ranting angry bitch. I was still a bitch but he now knows I'm not bluffing and he is suddenly giving me straight stories and being slightly more civil.

Contacting the OW can be incredibly empowering if you do it from a good place. Phone is better - catches them off guard, even more so if it's a work landline as they're going to be less bitchy in front of their colleagues.

Wait until the anger subsides. Think about what you want to say. Be prepared the call may go to VM etc.

I see nothing wrong with contacting a woman who was happy to wreck a marriage/family. Men don't manage to do it alone very often!

Rightallalong Fri 28-Feb-14 12:40:40

But everyone else here saying 'don't do it' are probably right.

I'm not great at this separation shit!

fruityloopy Fri 28-Feb-14 12:42:51

OW wont have got away with it. Invariably she'll discover all his bad points and all the shit he gave to you - he'll probably end up dishing out to her.

Now it's all out in the open I suspect some of the fun/games and spark will fizzle from their relationship. She probably got a kick out of being the OW and enjoyed the power trip of you not knowing the kids were out without you knowing. He'll be moaning and moping around and bad mouthing you - don't give him any more ammunition.

Honestly and truthfully, the best advice everyone has given me is to bite my tongue and rise above his pettiness in trying to pick arguments all the time. Show him you are a better person compared to him. It's far more satisfying to see them stumped and lost for words at your cool calm don't give a shit attitude then for them to see you hurting.

Its much more liberating and satisfying to prove how well you are coping without him. Please don't give either of them any satisfaction or doubt that you aren't.

BeforeAndAfter Fri 28-Feb-14 12:44:29

I was in your shoes in July 2011. My life is now very different indeed (for the better) and one that I could never have predicted in a million years so do not think that your life is over - far from it, it has just begun (cliché, cliché) - and you need to get through the next few months before you can see that.

For now you will be on a rollercoaster of emotions - you may even feel shocking physical symptoms such as nausea and shaking and a tightness in your solar plexus but see all that as part of the process, each step of which gets you to recovery. I didn't fight the rollercoaster - I just went with the emotions and let myself cry and howl. When I was on an adrenalin high (you get those too) I used those times to sort out some of the tedious admin stuff.

I found music lifted me so much and I went from one of those grown ups that had forgotten to play music to one that has so much music on my phone that I have little memory for anything else on it. That was probably the first sign of me "finding the old me" (clichés abound in this recovery process...)

For now focus on you (the happier you are the happier your DC will be) and do one thing everyday that you love. Indulge yourself. One of the joys you will find about being without H is that it's all about you and the DC and not him and you suddenly have all this time. It's weird to think that these men absorb your time so much but it is true. So buy your favourite bubble bath and have a soak, light a scented candle, buy the ingredients for your favourite meal (it might even be one that H never liked so you never cooked it) and indulge in that, buy that book you've been meaning to read, and the list goes on.

I bought myself a beautiful notebook and I wrote down all the things I'd always fancied doing/experiencing and I tried to tick those off.

I also wrote A LOT. I had a pen and pad of paper by the bed and when I was awake during the heartbreak hours (3am-6am for me, when I'd suddenly want to sleep) I'd write - a lot of it was bile - total hatred spewing about XH and OW but it was so therapeutic. I'd read it all back and it helped me enormously.

I found myself tracking back through my marriage - wondering which bits were real and then one day I realised I doing this anymore. I was grieving for what I thought I had, grieving for the H I thought I had and grieving for my future.

I think it's fine to hate the OW and I think the OW does bear some responsibility but at the end of the day it was up to our husbands to talk to us and be faithful. Don't contact the OW - maintain dignity at all times. You will only give her ammunition to think you're a deranged ex who drove her poor baby into her arms and he will talk that up as it's better than saying to the OW that he's a lying cheating immoral shit and always will be.

In all it took me about a year to feel that I wasn't in some sort of mourning (don't get me wrong, I was having a lot of fun and a lot of great sex during that time... but that's another story).

Do confide in someone in RL - it's amazing how many people have been through this. I went to change my bank account the day after I found out about the affair and the lady in the bank had gone through the same thing. Honestly, when you start talking, people open up, share stories and support you above and beyond anything you could imagine.

If you haven't already done so, make an appointment with a solicitor. They do free half hour introductory sessions so write a list of questions you have and make a few appointments. You can find out a lot without shelling out plus you want to feel your solicitor is on your side.

You will come out of this a different person - I actually ended up more relaxed, more fun, laughing and playing more.

I'll be holding your hand. MN was my lifeline - don't underestimate it's power to lift you.

B&A x

Onmyownwith4kids Fri 28-Feb-14 14:41:03

I so understand your anger with the other woman and your desire to contact her..I felt exactly the same..I found out my husband was having an affair when I found texts where they were planning on going to her sister's wedding together..I could not believe the audacity..Two people engaged in an affair going to watch other people vow to be faithful to one another days from our own anniversary. She had conversations with him about how my kids would cope and how resilient they'd be when they skipped off into the sunset together and I'm just filled with anger that she even had the cheek to talk about how my children would cope with their sordid affair so I understand your need to contact the other woman and tell her what she's done. I was tempted so many times but I haven't. I've decided that any woman who has such low self esteem and is so lacking in any empathy that she is prepared to destroy someone else's family and take up with a man who shows her from the offset that he's a cheat and a liar was not worthy of my time or energies. I can really relate to what you're going through..I've had moments of being utterly obsessed with this other woman and wondering what she had that I didn't but they're never special they're just available for ego massaging purposes. They're just someone who hasn't nagged them to put the bins out or help with the children. Contacting her will make her feel special as if she's somehow "won" your husband..Don't give her the satisfaction just remember you're better than her..Like you I go through real highs and lows was nearly in tears earlier this week when I saw someone in the supermarket with a child the same age as my little boy. She had a wedding ring on and that's all it took for me to have all those thoughts of failure, of my future being taken away of being on my own forever and only having the option of gathering a collection of cats for company. Then it occured to me at least I'd have the option to neuter any male cats and stop them wreaking havoc on the female population..If I had my husband back (and he has had a "breakdown" left her and is crying a lot) I would never be able to completely trust him or look at him in the same light. He'll always be the man who lied and cheated and put himself and his needs first. I thought I could forgive but I can't. We'll get stronger. Don't contact the other woman, she's just not worth bothering with x

LouiseSmith Fri 28-Feb-14 14:53:33

My advice: Write to the other woman. On paper, or on computer. Then burn it. It will feel good for you to get it out, but don't send it. The best revenge is moving on!!

It will get better, someone once told me "Sometimes we need to forget what we want, and remember what we deserve." It will get easier, I know that counts for little atm, it did for me.

barking123 Fri 28-Feb-14 15:48:22

Thank you ladies for all finding the time to post. It is very kind of you all and MN has been my lifeline today. A heartfelt thanks to you all and I'm so sorry that there seem to be so many of us in this situation.

I'm not going to contact OW for now as I guess you guys have convinced me that it will just convince OW that I'm some horrible person who drove poor, long-suffering "D"H to the affair. I guess I should take consolation in the fact that she has no idea what she is letting herself in for and how much he has lied to her as well.

Thanks Rightallalong for sharing your story. I am glad that it was very satisfying for you. I know some posters have said well she knows he was married with DC, but I think hearing from the wife must be a highly unpleasant experience for the OW and I think it drives home what she has done. And I remember years ago when I was dating someone for a while and after three months they just dropped off the face of the earth. Normally I would do the whole dignified silence thing but this time I phoned him from a different number and let him know how rubbish I thought his behavior was. He was shocked that I had contacted him and pulled him up on his behaviour. I know a lot of people will think that is undignified and he would think less of me but I felt much better for it and empowered, which in my mind is what counts and not what they think of you.

And thanks beforeandafter for sharing too. I will have to print your post out as I think I will find it really helpful. Its interesting that you mention the shaking as I have been shaking like a jelly today. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? I'm pushing 40 and worried that I will never find someone else although I have to say at the moment finding someone new is the last thing on my mind and I feel like swearing off men forever.

Must find someone in RL to speak to. My mum has not been remotely sympathetic. She can't understand why I am angry with OW and can't understand why I'm upset that the marriage has broken down. In her words she thinks I should say "sod off" and be over it within two minutes. Not especially helpful.

fruityloopy Fri 28-Feb-14 16:29:37

There's a lot of wise words barking and am glad they helped get you through today. Keep reading and posting please. I know I've just found it very reassuring to read too that all the feelings I've been having / had are all perfectly normal in this situation. I've felt uncontrollable rage and shaking and sickness over it all in the last few months.

Just as you were asking about age - for what it's worth - my 'D'H buggered off weeks before my 40. And, for what it's worth too- 6 months on I have also been enjoying some new male company now, it wasn't expected and not what I thought I'd do, but, it's fun and it's great to feel young and appreciated again! Remember it's your life and your path and you will choose what's right for you and you can make your life whatever you want it to be..

On a practical note - do try and make sure you are eating sufficiently and taking care of yourself.. even you have to force yourself - get some soup, ready meals or some other treat or comfort food.

You will be surprised as someone said the minute you do feel like opening up, I suspect you will find a lot of people have been in the situation. Sorry to hear about your Mum's lack of understanding.. sounds a bit like mine!

tessa6 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:38:14

Hi Barking, sorry it's so hard. You are so brave and I know eventually you will get through this and have a much more fulfilling, exciting life and relationship.

I know the feeling and personally I have no views either way on OW contact. I think the truth is that the position you have to eventually get to, when you are not consumed with pain and have little feeling towards him at all (and her) is the desirable state. And therefore anything you do that drags you back into interaction, connection and emotion regarding him or her is a bad thing. But if you honestly feel the need to do it to make her feel bad, I understand that. Honestly though, if she is decent and caring she feels bad anyway. And if she isn't, your contacting her is going to be spun as you are mental and she's the victim. So it's hard to win. I would also advise writing the letter and not sending. But she will be scared of you already, and also she will be living a life of paranoia, jealousy and fear because of her actions.

BeforeAndAfter Fri 28-Feb-14 17:02:51

I was 45 when I discovered the affair - am now 48. I am far from washed up and feel amazing. XH left me with real trust issues but I'm with a man who is understanding and patient.

I don't have kids of my own but I have 2 stepdaughters to whom I am very close. Their father gained a new wife (he and OW are now married) but he lost his daughters. They see him, they are dutiful but they have no respect for him which I find so sad.

The shaking is normal but quite scary. I have to say, the best outcome at this point for me was the weight loss so I did cheer myself up by buying some figure-hugging clothes! Do allow some self-indulgence. Am thinking of you x

Wow - your mum is harsh.
Just for some hope - my Ex left when I was nearing 41 - now at 45 I have a lovely OH. He's been on the scene for about 3 years now!
But for now it's all about you and getting on with getting over this.
And no matter what your mum says, it will take quite a while.
Keep posting for support and get a friend round to help you drink wine.

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