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.
Midlife Crisis Husband(26 Posts)
I am new to Mums Net and this is my first post. I have been with my husband for 13 years and have two amazing kids. I m looking to hear from anybody who is currently experiencing their once loving, caring husband who you thought you had an amazing marriage with suddenly turning into a complete stranger overnight after hitting 40.
Out of the blue one day in January he told me "he loved me but wasn't sure he was in love with me" then in the next breath admitted to seeing and having deep feelings for someone at work. He ended his emotional affair after admitting it but I asked him to leave. He begged to come back which I let him then he left again. I have gone through almost 4 months of hell as now he doesn't know what he wants from life and isn't sure if he wants to come home or not. Last Wednesday he ended our marriage for good. He has changed everything about himself, the way he dresses, thinks, his values, everything. To the extent our 10 year old says he feels his dad is a stranger. Our hearts are broken. I feel like part of me is missing. I would be really grateful to know that I am not alone.
You are certainly not alone.
So many men turn into cheats and liars.
You only have to look some of the threads on this board to see that.
It's time for you to take control of your life.
Who cares if he doesn't know what he wants.
You need to now understand what YOU want.
And I'm sure you don't want a lying cheating scumbag who is happy to betray his wife and family and leave you all.
Unfortunalte, these men are selfish and self absorbed there really is not point trying to understand them.
Get yourself some legal advice.
File for divorce.
Get to CAB and see what you are entitled to in benefits, housing, maintenance etc......
You need to move on with your life. Stop letting him keep you in 'limbo land'
Let the OW have him. She is welcome to him and his lying cheating ways.
Do NOT do the 'pick me' dance.
Tell him you want a divorce and get the ball rolling. Get control of your life back and move forward to a better happy future with this vile man in it.
hi mandyp fortunately and unfortunately u are not alone. I joined mumsnet in July last yr for pretty much the same reasons. now been separated 6 months.
I had the I love u but I'm not in love with you speech. he lost lots of weight. lost interest in hobbies. had a bizarre body piercing etc. he left a good home, his best friend and 2 DDS and stability. no ow and still isn't although I suspect an emotional ow at some point last yr and my ex couldn't live with fact he had done that I don't think.
things do get better I promise. its a huge emotional rollercoaster and I think u have to let the different stages come.
set some clear and firm boundaries. only communicate about dcs. its so hard when you've know each other for so long but for me it was the only way I could move on as trying to be his friend just broke my heart more.
you will get huge support on here and people with more advice and know how to put it better than I do. it does get better. I'm happy now after a yr of uncertainty last yr which broke me. my dcs are happier too.
Hi Mandy & welcome to mumsnet the honesty on here can be a bit startling if you're not used to it but you will have comments from people with a range of experience.
I think that it sounds as though the emotional affair did not end. Instead it escalated, he left, he went to the OW (other woman), she wouldn't let him stay so he begged to come back. He came back, then she changed her mind & now he's gone back to her again. I'd think that he has not left her ever, regardless of what he has told you. I'm sorry. Perhaps the change in dress/values are down to her as well.
So put him aside for a moment & think about you want. Stop letting him decide whether he wants to come home or not, you deserve more than that & he doesn't get to decide what happens to everyone outside his selfish little bubble. What do you & your child want?
It can be a crippling betrayal, especially if you didn't see it coming but try to focus on your future. Plenty of women have post-affair happy successful lives. If he has now ended your marriage then he can't come back, even if he wanted to as his treatment of you is disgraceful & cannot be condoned.
If you own joint assets, such as house then may I suggest you consult a solicitor (or the CAB who are free) & think about whether you want to start divorce proceedings. Access to your child also needs to be agreed.
I know its hard, but try to take control & show him that you won't put up with his shit anymore. Now that he has gone you no longer have to feel responsible for his happiness & never never blame yourself. Nobody forced him or 'drove' him to an affair, it was all his choice & look what he's lost now
That's withOUT this vile man it.
Sorry about all my typo's.
I usually spell check - must make sure I do so with all future posts.
Sorry you are going through this. So many of us have been there.
My husband was 43.
My exH was early forties when I found out he was having an affair - with my 'best friend'
I staggered on in the marriage for twenty years as he didn't want a divorce - wanted to have his cake and eat it and I worried what parting would do to our two tiny children. It did me no good at all, either physically or mentally as he carried on screwing around and generally treating me like shit. I finally saw the light, when my kids were grown up, and kicked him into touch. It's to my eternal regret that I didn't finish it much much earlier.
But I've never looked back since divorce - everything just got better and better. You will be OK, OP and you'll get great advice and support here on MN.
I'm sorry your husband decided to behave so badly but I think it's a little too easy to put it down to a mid-life crisis or trivialise it in other ways. People can behave irresponsibly at any age and there's no monopoly on selfishness. Very cruel of him to mess you around with the yo-yo business of begging to come back before ending it. If there isn't another woman waiting for him in the wings, I'll eat my hat. Hope you have RL friends and family to support you. Good luck
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Hi, I saw a solicitor yesterday and I am in the process of having a legal separation drawn up.
Thank you all so much, he said he was maybe making the biggest mistake if his life. I am going to make sure he is right. My kids and I will survive this!
Hi Mandy - welcome to MN.
You will probably find this an enlightening and perhaps helpful read - THE SCRIPT
For the first time in ages I have actually laughed! It's so text book it's amazing! Pathetic really is it! Thank you. X
So sorry this has happened to you. I'm 2 1/2 years on from it happening to me. The script is fantastic, how they nearly all follow it, as if they'd read the instructions. For a long time i thought it was only me in this position, but it happens so many times when a man reaches his fourties.
Then they turn into monstors, unrecognisable to their wifes. So glad you've seen a solicitor, i left it quite late to see one, but then it happened 3 years after the sudden death of our eldest son.
Now i have a new life, i didn't choose it but i'm making sure i enjoy it. Done loads of new things i never would have done if i'd stayed married. Have a fantastic relationship with my 2 younger sons, they see their Dad for a few hours a week at most, his loss is my gain.
Hoping you carry on finding things to laugh at, it is hard suddenly being single, a sole parent, but if i can get through it, anyone can! Was in such a mess, mentally and physically, still on anti depressants but i'm enjoying life again lots more.
Sending a hug, and hope it goes well for you xx
Just to say that you are not alone - your story sounds almost the same as mine...2 years on I look at my ex and wonder what happened to the person I knew - he dresses way too young for his age, wears way to many bracelets, has got tattoos and is making a bit of a prat of himself.
It is very early days for you - I went into survival mode for the first few months, simply coping with the day to day needs of myself and the DCs. The anger and all of the other emotions came much later. 2 years on I am still angry at times, still feel sad for what has been lost, but at the same time, would not have him back as I have rediscovered the real me and life for me and the DCs is happier than when we were together. We get on, I have worked really hard to keep things civil for the sake of the DCs, and I am proud of them for how well they have coped. Generally speaking, I now look at him and feel sorry for him...
Take everyday as it comes, don't make any hasty decisions, think twice and speak once. Hold your head up high and make him realise that your life hasn't stopped just because he has behaved in this way. Someone on here once said something along the lines of 'the best revenge is a life well lived' or something like that.
Wishing you lots of luck and sending some hugs too xx
Hi OP you are definitely not on your own! My STBXH moved out to be with OW 2 years ago - he was 46 she was 26. He now sees his two young sons for 15 hrs a week - his choice! I look at him now and just feel sorry for him in terms of what he gave up. I would never have him back as I don't like his values or morals anymore.
I went through exactly this through all of last year. The I love you but not in love with you. The change in clothes and personality. After months of mental torture and coming and going and effectively letting him have both of us I took control and am divorcing him. It's really hit him now. He'll be spending his 40th birthday away from his children and with his 27 year old girlfriend do should be skipping around at having got what he wanted. But he's not. He 'a miserable. Says he's lost everything and now realises it's me not her he loves. Take control. He'll probably come crawling back when he realises you 're serious. If you 're anything like me you'll realise you don 't want a weak entitled, self centred man by then.
I am sorry you are living through this atm , but as you have already seen, you are far from the only person this is happening to /has happened to.
Its still surprising to me , despite having lived through it myself just how many partners act this way. I am 9 years post divorce but still look back on what happened with my exh with a certain amount of disbelief, that the man I married could behave in the way he did.
My advice is the same as everyone else's . Get legal advice. Even if it goes against the grain, make sure you put yourself and children first first first , don't allow sympathy for your stb ex to cloud your judgement about material matters that you know to be in your best interests. I know you married and loved him , but he has proven himself to be someone you can no longer trust, in fact you don't really know him anymore . Also, don't waste time and emotional energy trying to rationalise his behaviour or to analyse why he acted the way he has , he evidently doesn't have the same emotional/moral values as you.
I well remember my lovely solicitor saying to me 'you will get through this' and although I didn't believe him at the time , I did .
This is not to say that I think anyone who is unhappy in their marriage should be condemned to stay married for ever, but there are ways of working through these times in our lives that hopefully cause as little pain as possible.
Sadly my exh's relationship with his children soured so much that they have no contact with him , by their own choice (they are all adults now) , but if I am honest in a way I am glad as I fear that any relationship with him would only end in pain for them.
His midlife crisis, if indeed that's what it was seems to have lingered and his personality has remained changed. I think he is a narcissistic personality, and when he reached midlife , his sense of entitlement to (all our and the banks) money, other women, leather trousers tattoo's and piercings just ran wild. His new life doesn't seem to fulfil him as much as he hoped and I know he is very bitter about his family situation, but still feels he is blameless
MLC or a fake excuse for a selfish man.
I am sorry, there are lots of MNers who have experienced this and are still reeling from the shock of it all. Not complacent, not blinkered, just ordinary women who find themselves talking to a stranger, who no longer wants to carry on with their family. He will jettison you and pretend you are somehow at fault, even as you struggle to pick up the pieces. Then he will give you false hope by appearing to reconsider, or claim some temporary illness, not realising the balance of your own mind isn't disturbed while you focus on what you have to do and organise.
The advice you have already been given here is spot on, plus I would suggest you don't keep this from the people around you, they need to hear your side before he re-writes your history together.
You may already have found this on the site but in case you haven't
Hi I'm also sorry you find yourself here. My H did the same and finally left at the start of 2013. There was an OW, she was 28, no kids and he was 46, they moved in together straight away and they're still together now. Like pp's he only sees our two DS's for a few hours each week and never overnight (think it might cramp his social life with all his new twentysomething mates). I had the same speech you have had, it's crap isn't it.
I agree with the others that the first few months are the worst, think it's the shock and getting your head around things. Glad someone has posted the Script as it really helped me see that it was really all about him and not really anything about me or what I had or hadn't done.
Good to hear you have seen a solicitor and are taking control back. Just get through these early months as best you can and things will start to feel better. You will find strength you didn't know you had, although it is like being on a piece of elastic and some days you get yanked right back to the start again.
My ex was pretty lazy so I've found in some ways life is easier without him. And what is so much better is my relationship with my DC's, we're so much closer now. If you manage to be civil in front of them I think it really helps them adapt.
I read here that I should aim for indifference towards him and whilst I still find myself raging over how he could have just upped and left us, I look at him now in his too young clothes and see how he puts himself first ahead of everyone else and wonder what I ever saw in him.
I have great RL friends but it was reading posts on here that has got me through so far. Hope you find the same.
There is another website 'The hero's spouse' that deals with partners of MLCers. Most of them on the forum want to save their relationship, and many are divorced but working through it. Good for support and knowing you are not alone - also many techniques to deal with a person in MLC. it's very real and happens to a lot of people - they just don't know it! Good luck!
The only thing I would add is choose your solicitor by recommendation - bad enough being screwed over by your ex without feeling your solicitor is joining in........
It's happening to me right now. A month ago I discovered there was an OW. Allegedly they had just kissed on a few work nights out due to their incredible 'connection'. Instead of trying to apologise or work things out he just left to be with her. It makes no sense, we had a very happy relationship, two children, it's like he is a completely different person. He was always a fantastic husband and father. He seems to think we can still be friends and 'work together' to do what is right for the kids. My 7yo DD is in bits and cries every night. I have lost a stone and started smoking again after 10 years.
I am only a month into this so no advice really,.but I have found keeping busy and spending time with friends helps. As well as having fun with the kids and reminding myself it is his loss, he is the one missing out on our amazing children.
Can I recommend a book called "Runaway Husbands". It's not going to resolve everything for you, but you'll find what you have experienced has happened to many others too. There's also a strategy for coping with this kind of shock and betrayal in there. I am so sorry you have experienced this.
It's like you have not only lost your husband, but you're also simultaneously having to question who you are married to. This is a shit place to be but you will come through it.
Thank you everybody for your messages, it really helps knowing I am not alone in this.
I told him that there will never be any going back and that I am moving on with my life.
The funny thing is he seems really annoyed by this, is that normal??
I told him that there will never be any going back and that I am moving on with my life.
The funny thing is he seems really annoyed by this, is that normal??
Completely normal - you are not following THE SCRIPT. Good for you.
I imagine he expected you to be broken apart by this and begging him to come back. Good for you for moving on.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.