Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Husband left. Had new woman two weeks later. Struggling with the pain. Do these rebound relationships last?

(57 Posts)
MirandaIV Wed 23-Apr-14 11:18:21

My husband left me on Jan 18th after months of moodiness and meanness interspersed with still making love regularly and being loving and affectionate right up til the day he left after lucking a big fight with me over nothing when we were out to dinner.
He spent the first two weeks saying he was coming back after some time to get his head together and sent me voice messages begging me to take him back. (I said only if he agreed to counselling).
After two weeks everything changed and he went hard and cold. He lied for another six weeks about the other woman, but I found out from his phone bill. The first calls and texts to her started on Feb 3rd.
I asked three times about whether there was anyone else and he lied to my face and promised to tell me if there was one. He also let me snuggle up on his knee and beg him to give me another chance whilst I was crying my eyes out and all the time he was seeing her. In addition until I found out, he said he might still come back for me after six months or so, but that I wasn't to wait for him as it wasn't fair.
The problem is that I am so upset and angry that I can't move on. I cry every day and although I am trying so hard to get on with my life, I am obsessed with him and his mistress. I know nothing about her and it is torture as I feel it would help me if she was unattractive as I wouldn't feel such thrown away trash.
I meet people every day and go for walks and play tennis and go running etc. I've even been on dates and joined social dining groups, but I am so lonely when I'm not doing anything. My children all left home this year too and so I am totally alone for the first time for years and I'm fifty!
I just can't ear that I'm still suffering so much and he is so happy and 'in love' (he kindly told me that). He is also being absolutely vile to me about divorce stuff and has changed his phone number and email so the only way I can contact him is via his horrible mother who apparently says she's going to report me to the police for sending emails via her. (I am talking about a few emails relating to finances and him picking up his tools which he has left at my house).
Please tell me this gets better and that I will meet a man again that I can trust one day and won't be alone for ever. He was the love of my life and I was supposed to be his. We were together six years but only married for two and a half (anniversary soon).
Looking back he had loads of red flags, ie he was deserted by his mother as a child, had no friends, no hobbies, deserted his own child and was an intensive romantic, wooing me off my feet within weeks as he has clearly done with this woman. But knowing why doesn't help my pain.
Also please tell me his new relationship will end in disaster and he will end up alone and miserable!

antimatter Wed 23-Apr-14 23:27:34

sorry for quick comment...
why can't you sent letters instead of emails?

it is still early days - getting over full-time relationship takes ages

you are bound to be all over place with your emotions

Minime85 Thu 24-Apr-14 09:52:36

there's an awful lot going on in your post. I think u would get more responses if u could get it moved to relationships as its a busier topic.

I think u need to take one step at a time. if he only left in January after months of the angst u describe it really is still such early days.

the emotions u describe sound familiar and all part of the process of slowly and steadily moving forward. I remember in the midst of it all wishing 6 months into the future as it was just so hard. but I think to really get through it u need to go through all those emotions.

if there are no small children u don't need to have regular contact with him and I'd try and do that if u can.

time for dating will come but u need to be ready for that first and to do that u need to deal with now.

it is a new reality and often we wouldn't have chosen it. but I think we can be happier or at least as happy if u embrace the changes it gives u. thanks

MirandaIV Thu 24-Apr-14 23:17:14

Thank you for your help. How do I move the thread to relationships please?

ICantFindAFreeNickName Thu 24-Apr-14 23:36:34

It's very early days still, so what you are going through is normal. If you look at past threads in relationships you will find loads of people who have gone through a similar experience. Please give yourself enough time to grieve for the relationship & maybe don't rush into dating too soon.
In some ways not having young children can make it harder, as keeping things stable for the children can give you a focus to get through each day. On the other hand you are now completely free to choose what you want to do with this next stage of your life, and at 50 you are still young enough to enjoy it. Have a think about any dreams that you had, that you have never had the time to pursue - now would be a perfect time to go for them.

antimatter Fri 25-Apr-14 06:34:42

you need to self report and then moderators will move it.

OnaPromise Fri 25-Apr-14 07:08:11

I've been through similar emotions after a split. The reality was that the relationship had gone sour and was making me miserable. But as soon as I found out he was with someone else I became obsessed, crying and begging etc. Looking back on it for the life of me, I can't understand why. He was no prize! He actually came back for a bit but it was a disaster and I wasted at least a year of my life on it.

So yes, it is normal, but easy in my experience, for the strong emotions to deceive us into thinking the relationship is worth more than it actually is. Give yourself time.

MirandaIV Fri 25-Apr-14 09:59:51

Onapromise. That's really interesting as I think I'm doing the same to a certain extent. He is not a great prize. He is an almost illiterate bricklayer and has massive Chios on his shoulders about everything. He is antisocial and quite boring and we are very incompatible in many ways, except that we had this romantic love that was amazing. I think the problem is that I was in love with him in a real fairy tale way (and he acted like he was too). I know now that this is actually really unhealthy and could never have worked in the long run as he made me totally responsible for his happiness, but I was still in the phase of trying to make him happy and rescue him from his sad past. I have been divorced before when my previous H went off with another woman, but I had fallen out of love with him years before and although I was angry, I wasn't that bothered and also couldn't give a damn about what she was like. I think this time the pain is a hundred times worse because I loved him so much and had invested so much emotion into my future dreams with him. Also we had only been married two and a half years and the shock of someone giving up so soon after is incomprehensible.
I do hate the OW but I don't blame her at all. She is another idiot who will probably get hurt. What kind of fool falls for someone two weeks out if marraige. He has obviously done the whole 'here is my heart on a plate. I can't live without you" thing that he did with me.
I will ask for this thread to be moved. Thank you ladies. I hope you will follow me. smile

Minion100 Fri 25-Apr-14 12:43:53

I think at these times we experience a shock, because a previously adoring husband or partner changes quite suddenly into someone who doesn't care about us or our feelings at all. It's baffling to try and work out how this sudden change comes about.

The answer is worryingly simple. They "cared" about you when it served their wants / needs and desires to do so, and they "stop caring" when it no longer does. It's harsh, it's selfish but it's also true.

Moving on to someone so quickly and being "in love" shows that he uses people as an extension of himself. This isn't "love" it's loving the way someone makes you feel, loving them for what they do to you. Men like this are often very clingy and loving with their partners but can turn it off just as quickly as they turned it on.

It's a very shallow kind of love.

This is hard - but you have had a glimpse of your future if you ever take him back.

This is also hard, but please, please, please cut off all contact. It WILL make him miss you and question what he has done, it WILL make him come running back (eventually anyway) but the point is that by the time he does you would have realised you can do better and deserve to be with someone capable of deeper love and loyalty.

MiniatureRailway Fri 25-Apr-14 12:54:11

So sorry. You must be in a wretched place, what a shock.

The truth is that relationships like this can and do last and people don't always get the return they deserve. You need to focus on getting yourself to a place where you no longer care about him or whatever relationship he happens to be in because you are happy without him. It's going to hurt like hell and take some time. But being very close to someone who went through similar (my lovely mum), you will get there. I promise.

Alphabollocks Fri 25-Apr-14 13:20:38

Fairy tale, romantic love, rescuing...
These are all traits brought up by Robin Norwood in her (IMO) excellent book Women Who Love Too Much. Maybe reading a book like that will help you. It certainly did me, as did counselling.
I think some men just find another woman to 'rescue' them, it doesn't matter who they are. More fool her.
I hope when the scales fall from your eyes in the future, and you see him for what he really is, that you move on and find a decent man (who does not need rescuing).
Fifty is still so young. Give yourself time, it will get better, and go and pamper yourself.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 25-Apr-14 13:58:48

IME people who are looking for someone to rescue them never stop looking because it's an impossible task. If you had stopped gratifying him in that way no wonder he started looking elsewhere. It's a lifelong quest for people like that, the search for someone who will take away their inner turmoil. That will never happen though. You need to disabuse yourself of the ideas if fairy tale love and rescuing partners from horrible pasts because they are false dreams and will lead you down a very miserable path.0

Pinkballoon Fri 25-Apr-14 14:35:10

Google narcissism. He ticks many of the boxes! Particularly in terms of his background, and already lining up a replacement female. Its classic narcissistic behaviour.

Don't contact him, other than in formal written letters regarding the divorce etc. I suspect the changing numbers, email address etc. is a guilt thing - he can't cope with what he has done. Or, the other woman has seen a text come through and asked whats going on. Unfortunately, silences nearly always mean that someone else is on the scene.

Don't worry about the other woman. If he has treated you shoddily, he will go on to do the same with her. Thats a sure bet!

MorrisZapp Fri 25-Apr-14 14:41:46

What they all said, plus:

Of course you feel lonely without him, that's natural. But please don't already be thinking about wanting to meet someone or be with someone.

The only way you'll ever be content is when you're content with yourself. Build yourself up, work on what you want.

Maybe you will meet somebody wonderful, but when you do, you need to be a whole person, and not in search of another half.

lavenderhoney Fri 25-Apr-14 17:15:19

Ref the divorce, solicitors only is best. His dm probably doesn't want the stress and its not fair to her really.

You do sound very busy but I understand its the gaps in between busy! That is normal and you have to find a way to fill that time, but discovering a hobby or something you can pick up and put down- an interest in art and books, painting your nails etc. redecorate, move house.. Email friends, plan things....

He sounds like he wasn't really very nice to you, tbh and engineered his departure. Did he move in with her straightaway? Are you sure he didn't know her before? But it doesn't matter now, just get the divorce over, and 50 isn't old. Better to be you and looking than you and unhappy in a relationship, I think.

dunfightin Fri 25-Apr-14 18:24:31

Some rebounds work, most don't. Fwiw my ex's OW chucked him 18 months later however aftermath has been much worse. He's rebounding all over the place and each one - all short-lived - has met the DCs and is described as his DP. I feel quite nostalgic for the original OW - she at least gave it a shot or was more stupid than most.
As others have said, if he's looking for a security blanket to cover up his own inadequacies then chances are he'll be shown the door.

But best tips for survival are finding something to do at home to keep you busy and finding a social activity outside so that you see there's life beyond this twunt and people around who like and appreciate you.

MirandaIV Fri 25-Apr-14 18:44:36

Thank you all for the support and information. I wondered if he was narcissistic. I always thought his mother was. You're so right that his love was all about what he could get back for himself. He loves to play the hero/knight/prince.
I have decided to cut all contact now unless absolutely vile even if I lose a few hundred pounds. It's not worth the grief involved in chasing it.
Can anyone give me an idea when the pain might subside. It is three months now and I am eating normally again (lost a stone), the panic attacks and shaking have all gone, I only cry about once a day now, but I still sleep dreadfully and often feel desolate and depressed about the future. The worst thing is missing physical hugs and touching. With my boys all having left home this year, the house is so empty and I ache for cuddles and only get the occasional hug from friends which just isn't enough. Does this fade?

antimatter Fri 25-Apr-14 18:56:06

if you fee depressed maybe worth considering counseling - someone would listen to you and help you answer those questions which are still bothering you?

Have you got any holidays planned?

Toohardtofindaproperusername Fri 25-Apr-14 19:12:00

Hi op. Sorry can't answer last question about time but i really want to second the stuff about narcissism - try baggage reclaimed ? Website or just google narcissism. I think it helps to keep reading that stuff to try make sense of the web you are pulled into by narcissists. It is toxic and very long slow process to get outof but you can get out of it and see it for what it was / a fantasy.... Painful as that seems. And yes no contact whatsoever is the only way to do it!!! It happened to me I my forties- felt so stupid afterwards but at the time it was like a drug and hard to detox myself from it.fifties is the new thirties btw .....

AnyFucker Fri 25-Apr-14 19:18:10

Do you think his new relationship is really a rebound ?

I think it far more likely there was a significant overlap going off what you say about his behaviour in the run up and immediate aftermath of your split

MirandaIV Fri 25-Apr-14 19:50:46

Thanks Antimatter. I am having counselling once a week which is good.
Anyfucker, I'm pretty sure he didn't have the relationship before he left as he begged me to come back for the first week and then during the second week, he joined a dating website. I only found out about the OW because I got his phone bills and he had texted her 700 times in the first month. But there was no record of her number before Feb 3rd and he left on Jan 18th. I would definitely have suspected it before then from his behaviour, but there is no evidence of her before then. He never went anywhere without me and had no friends or nights out and he works on a building site leaving at 5am and back by 4pm and he was never late, so probably not. At the end of the day, I suppose it doesn't make any difference really though.

AnyFucker Fri 25-Apr-14 19:57:32

You are right, it doesn't make a difference in the long run

But for some women, knowing that they have been cheated on gives them that extra steel to conclude that enough is really enough

I woul assume that because he moved on so quickly his respect for you was less than zero whether there was an overlap or not

MirandaIV Fri 25-Apr-14 20:56:33

To be honest I consider it cheating just the same. He was always running away to his mothers when he wasn't happy. This was probably the seventh time. So I didn't see it as any different to usual. Also he was talking about coming back all that time, so I believed him when he said he just wanted to get his head together. I didn't consider that our marriage was over any more than the other times he left. He is truly a man child.

AnyFucker Fri 25-Apr-14 21:08:58

yup

Pinkballoon Fri 25-Apr-14 21:41:11

MirandaTV. I'd put money on him being a narcissist! This is exactly the same behaviour I received from my exP. One of the behaviours of a N is lining up new potential partners when they anticipate that things are going wrong in your relationship (they HAVE to keep the supply going - essential for a N.) This is something that my ex did (had one lined up AND went on dating sites as well!).

Not saying that your exH did this, but what my ex had done was used a number of phones for the different women he had and the stages that he was in with them. So when they were being lined up they were on one phone, then the one who was on standby for when we finished was progressed onto the 2nd phone, and then when we finished (or he had decided in his head that we had!) standby OW went onto the main phone. Do you see how it works? So, you may have just found the texts from one stage of their relationship on one of his phones.

You asked if his new relationship will end in disaster. Very probably yes. I contacted the OW (after finding their deleted texts on one of his phones.) It was like listening to my self. She felt belittled, bullied and exhausted by him, but kept going back for more, even though she could see that there was something wrong etc. She was also deeply suspicious of all the long silences and how he became uncontactable at times (that was me!) but believed all his excuses etc. It was quite an eye opener to say the least.

What I would suggest is to keep your guard as to how he chooses to return (because he will when the OW starts to withdraw or question his behaviour.) N will also use negative contact to continue the supply. So he might for example, start emailing you accusing you of things etc. - ANYTHING to get your attention. Just remain silent. Cut off all communications, come off any social networking sites for a while (so he can't check on you etc.)

But definitely read about how narcissists behave in relationships, its a major eye opener.

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