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Can a marriage be saved if he's having a passionate affair?

(743 Posts)
Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 04:42:19

First time on Mumsnet Talk - but completely shocked by my husband's revelation yesterday evening that he has been having a 6 month affair with his assistant. He is MD of a company, and has plenty of valid opportunity to travel away (and play away obviously!)
We have been together 4 yrs, and have a 2 yr old together and another 3 children (8, 14, 20) between us. He is 50, I am 40 and other woman - early thirties.
We have always been adoring and affectionate with each other, even during the last 6 months - and the only reasons he can give is that he's frustrated at my disorganisation, and finds 'family life' i.e. children - difficult and tiring. the children all get along well, and we're a close family - no step-family difficulties at all. I suspected all was not well, only as he seemed distracted and very protective of his phone recently.
He says he still loves me, but that he loves the other woman (who I know!) and is pretty sure he wants to be with her and the "idea" of a carefree life. he says he hasn't made a decision yet, and that if it had been the other way around he would fight to the ends of the earth for me...
However I've just been reading his texts to her full of "adore and love you hugely" messages, and which seemed to suggest he was going to leave me last night, and asked her to be ready to collect him - however we drank wine as all this was revealed and whilst he told her he was in the spare room, he came to bed with me and snuggled up and said we would discuss further tomorrow.
I have also just texted her asking her to please give us space to work things out, and begging her not to let him leave his family, and to think of the children. All very civil and polite.
Please don't say not worth saving - he's my soulmate, my world and we have a good life together. Yes, I'm devastated at his betrayal, but he's deceiving her also.
What do I do next, I don't know how to fight for someone who is on the verge of leaving for someone younger, prettier, in front of him at work every day, and carefree??

saffronwblue Sun 13-Apr-14 04:49:28

What a dreadful shock for you. I know it is hard to take in but he has been lying to you and betraying you for 6 months. Is that someone you really want to fight for? Could you ever trust him again?

Jellaby Sun 13-Apr-14 04:50:39

Why would you want to go back?

I'd suggest working on your self esteem. You must know that you deserve better!

4amInsomniac Sun 13-Apr-14 04:54:23

You make it sound like he has all the deciding to do. Give yourself plenty of time before YOU decide if you want to stay with a cheat.

How about in the morning you ask him where he and his children plan to live while you make up your mind? That will bring it home to him what he stands to lose, plus he doesn't get all the home comforts provided (housekeeping? cooking? laundry? childcare? ) while he graciously decides whether to stay.

Get angry! I believe if you end up wanting him to stay, he will only do so if you throw him out now and show him you aren't a walkover. Idea of a carefree life indeed! He could walk away from you, but he can't from his children. Explain the concept of 50/50 care to him and his new bit on the side, and see how they view a future together then. I think their plan somehow had you doing all the childcare while they garden about adoring each other!

Really, get angry, and make it clear that he isn't the only one making decisions here.

4amInsomniac Sun 13-Apr-14 04:55:19

gadded, not garden!

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 04:59:30

I just keep thinking 'please, please don't do this' - the older three children went through this 5 - 6 years ago - and he's a wonderful dad - which is why I'm so utterly shocked. I gave up a highly paid job to stay at home with our toddler.
This is the 3rd long term relationship where i've been cheated on - and I'm an intelligent, strong woman. There is no 'better' for me than this man I adored and who has always been my rock.
I don't know whether trust can be rebuilt - it hasn't fully sunk in how he's been happily texting both her and me with kisses, and 'love you' messages. And how we've carried on having a full sex life while he's been having this affair....

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:01:18

I mean the children have already been through one divorce - albeit civilised, very long time to recover and manage life again....
How can he put them through that again? He says we will all be provided for - yes, big thanks for that.

PeacesOfAte Sun 13-Apr-14 05:02:40

He doesn't seem like a prize worth winning to me.

What a knob. He chose to have four children, but now wants a 'carefree life', so is going to fuck up at least five lives so he can have it.

Start thinking of him as the weak and selfish man he is, instead of a prize to win away. He should be begging your forgiveness, not suggesting that you 'fight to the ends of the earth' for him - he's not fighting for you, is he, he's just getting his ego boosted because two women seem desperate to have him.

Get angry!

Poshsausage Sun 13-Apr-14 05:04:12

God that's awful I'm so sorry you must be heartbroken . Please give yourself time to think and absorb things and yes make decisions based on facts on what you want , in time you won't necessarily feel like a victim waiting for him to decide what he wants .

He does not get to play games with YOUR life . He will not be walking all over you . How dare he move all your goalposts without considering you all in the life you have built together .

You DO get to have a say in all of this . Life is going to change now so get yourself clear and straight and get what you can that is best for you and the children in this new set of circumstances

Good luck be strong

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:07:43

Thanks Insomniac and others - he says he's been tortured and thought about it for ages (great timing to break it to me when both his and my parents are coming for easter weekend).
Yes, I need time to fully absorb and decide what I want and the children's best interests....His 20 yr old is at uni, but he always has a home with me. And he says re childcare he has already thought of having them half the week or every weekend - like I should be delighted at that idea. It does seem he's thought it all through carefully - too carefully to try to stay and work things out...

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:13:03

Yes Peaces - hopefully i'll get over the initial shock and stop being so civilised and reasonable as i'm being right now.
Posh - thankyou for support and advice - yes, utterly heartbroken and devastated.
Thought he was my soulmate and finally the 'right one' - I've been crapped on before but they were not happy relationships. No warning signs were flashing here at all, until last week or two...

Poshsausage Sun 13-Apr-14 05:16:16

Am so sorry . Tis my worst nightmare .

felinesad Sun 13-Apr-14 05:19:52

Truly So sorry for you. I have been through this and it is devastating.

However as someone else said you seem to be letting him make all the decisions and it it isyou who needs to take control of the situation. If you don't you will be still be in the same position 12 months down the line with him shuttling between the two of you. If he doesn't have to 'choose' between the two of you why would he?

You need to make him leave and make plans as if he's not coming back. He needs to see what the reality of his decision is. If you really want him back (on your terms)then that is the only way forward. It is just as likely however the once you get your life back on track and he realises the grass isn't greener you won't want him anyway.

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:23:45

Yes - Posh. absolute nightmare. I even sleep with pillows around me when he's away as I miss him. the highlight of my day was when he walked in the door from work. Pretty despondent right now at how you think you've finally got a happy, fulfilled life - and oops, it's gone because he got drunk one night and shagged her at a work do. Which turned into a few shags (still okay in his eyes) - then full on passionate adoration.
And not one statement of sorry or guilt - just "i'm hugely bothered at hurting you and the children, you're a lovely, nice person"

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:27:25

Feline - I feel like telling him to leave - but I also want him to really see what he's giving up and walking out on - I don't want him walking into the arms of a blonde temptress ready to console him and reassure him he's made the right decision. I texted her begging to think about the children - and she said she never meant it to happen and she knew that he still cared for me.
I also want to keep things as low key as possible for the children until I know what's going to happen.

Poshsausage Sun 13-Apr-14 05:30:28

Grrrr fucking arsehole ,.sorry!

Be sad and miss him and give yourself time to grieve all on your own time .

But get fucking mad and give him the kick up the arse and reality check he needs ! It may work in your favour and you can work things out if they get over their hysterical bonding or it will save you months or years of wondering waiting and berating yourself

Sorry x

felinesad Sun 13-Apr-14 05:34:19

I feel like telling him to leave - but I also want him to really see what he's giving up and walking out on

That's exactly it Truly. My ex happily bounced out of the door to his new 'perfect partner' and it wasn't until a couple of months later when he tried to come crawling back that he admitted that he hadn't realised what he was giving up. He missed the Sunday evening getting ready for school panic and the daily homework traumas and just family life in general.

He genuinely thought he could go off and do what he wanted whilst coming back to the house whenever he wanted as if nothing had changed other than we no longer shared a bed (although to be fair he still wanted to do that!!!).

He won't know what he's lost until he has.........

felinesad Sun 13-Apr-14 05:36:10

I had however moved on and realised that I could never trust him again (not least because even when he was with OW he was still trying to sleep with me which just showed what he was really like all along).

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Apr-14 05:37:10

I'm sorry that you've been landed with this bombshell. His alleged reasons for behaving this way sound totally fake so please don't allow him to blame you in any way. I'd also urge you not to contact the OW. No-one can lure someone away if they don't want to be lured. He's only thinking of himself at the moment and there's nothing you can usefully do with a selfish person.

Do you have friends or family that you can be with?

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:37:38

Posh - you've given me a wry laugh.
I thought of packing kids of to grandparents later today so that we have a chance to talk again, and to persuade him to stay and work at things. But the general opinion here seems to be - pack his bags, off to his mistress and see if it brings him back with his tail between his legs....but why would it when she can offer him the 'carefree' life he seems to want? I mean, fuckety fuck, he persuaded me to have a baby so that we'd bond as a family - and wanted me at home to give the kids stability. I've been properly shafted here, eh?!
Feeling better and not so pathetic at all the good advice and support given - thank you people x

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:42:56

feline - yes, I can absolutely see it going that way - where he wants the thrill of her and the "lovely, nice, caring" me.
Cogito - can't bear thinking about what this will do to his and my families - I see his parents 2 / 3 times a week. I'm not going anywhere - the kids need to stay in their own home. As for longer term - I'm in Home Counties, all my family in Wales...

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Apr-14 05:48:23

You don't pack his bags so that he comes back with his tail between his legs. You tell him to leave so that you start to regain control and restore your self-respect. Right now, with the information he's given you, by allowing him to carry on as if nothing had happened you have neither of those things. If you try to persuade him to stay all you'll earn is his contempt. OK so he goes to the OW. From what he's saying, he's going to be doing that regardless...

It's very difficult and I know how upset you are but he's currently dictating the pace here, you're waiting for him to decide how your life's going to pan out, and you urgently need to shift the power balance.

You have been shafted sad

It sounds as though he wants to keep both of you. Please don't allow that, it will destroy your confidence further.

Truly40 Sun 13-Apr-14 05:51:54

Ok Cogito - control and self-respect. It'll have to be my mantra for the next few hours.
Oh God, he's on the phone - he's discovered i've texted her - best go and find out my fate. I'm literally shaking
Control and self-respect.

willitbe Sun 13-Apr-14 05:52:53

I don't normally post on relationship threads, but just read yours and have to say that if you try to make him see what he is missing, he will probrably feel even more "trapped" and want the "carefree" life even more.

It makes me think of the phrase that goes something like 'if you love them, let them go'

Let him go, let him have his supposedly carefree life. And while he is gone you can decide whether you really want him back again, and what you want from life. Do you really want to stay at home to 'give the kids stability' or would you like to go back to work full or parttime?, if he leaves then you can chase him for childcare costs, whichever way. Time to think of yourself and the children, rather than trying to put effort into encouraging him to 'see what he would be missing'.

Sorry you are going through this stress, hope that friends and family around can support you.

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