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Going down black hole after my affair - please help(19 Posts)
I'm sorry to share too much on a public forum but I don't know where to turn. Can anybody help me or offer a few words of advice?
My ten year marriage broke down completely a year ago after I checked out during an emotional turned sexual affair that lasted 2 years. It was my fault entirely and my dh was a loving, kind man who would have done anything for me. The end of the affair was mutual but messy and I told dh only to ease my own guilt and anxiety which had taken me counselling after contemplating suicide at what I had done to my relationship and dh. No thoughts to spare his feelings.
He has happily moved on into a new serious relationship which is extremely painful but helps somewhat to ease the pain that he is happy, although despite this I still send him begging messages to come back to me. He responds very amicably to tell me it's over and to move on. We have no dc and I am now 41 so there is no chance for me - another thing that makes me so sad.
Half my friends have been disgusted at my behaviour and cut all ties or our relationships have altered because I have increasingly isolated myself from them. The affair has destroyed me as a person. I was outgoing, sociable and fun and now i'm just empty inside.
It is a year and 4 months now and I just feel i'm sinking deeper rather then getting better. I keep busy and have a busy job but I can't concentrate. Some days I feel positive but others I could drive my car off the road on my commute to work very easily. Has anybody been here? Is there a way back? I've done CBT and read self help.
That's a lot of endings to be dealing with all at once. Doesn't really mean that things are over for you, though. One foot in front of the other. You'll get steadier.
Try going out to new clubs or find hobbies to meet new people. At least it will fill the gaps that are being left behind. Or volunteer to help others out-plenty of charities need help!
It seems like you've learned a massive lesson here OP and regret what happened. But you shouldn't beat yourself up about this forever you know, that would be totally pointless now wouldn't it. It takes two to tango. I still want to give you a virtual cuddle.
You eventually done the right thing and confessed which is something positive. It must be hard seeing him happy in a new relationship but at some point you need to start thinking in terms of you. Try writing a page daily of your thoughts for 5 minutes no matter how stupid or childish they sound but always make sure there is at least positive on the sheet and review them every week. After a 2-3 weeks you should find that the things you are writing start to sound more constructive and will hopefully start you on the climb out of the hole you have got yourself into. Force yourself to go to some sort of club like for example slimming world or weight watchers (it doesn't matter if you need to lose weight or not) these groups reinforce positive images of yourself because you need to be able to look in the mirror and say 'I love me' before you can ever love anyone else again.
slimming world positive reinforcement? Blimey I need to go to bed here and stop being in the "twilight" zone.
Get yourself on a dating site, it's not the bloody end for you at 41! My friend just had her first baby at 47. Your life isn't over, think positive. Make new friends start afresh
You'd be surprised at slimming groups, from experience the majority of people there don't care about losing weight it's more of a social feel good thing. Depends on the group I suppose.....
Stop sending your ex begging letters. You say that you're happy he's happy but you're still intent on trying to upset his life and his new relationship. Go NC and put this behind you.
I think you might be in danger of looking back at your marriage through rose-tinted glasses - but the reality is that something made you have that affair. Something wasn't right. I know people in perfect, strong, happy marriages do have affairs regardless - but often the affair is at least initially a symptom of an unhappy relationship. If you hadn't had that affair, would you still be together now, do you think?
people in perfect, strong, happy marriages do have affairs regardless
I would say a tiny minority have affairs if they are in perfect, strong, happy marriages. People in that situation tend to cherish their relationship and value what they have.
Sosad, there is no point in wrapping things up in sugar coated words, you are in a dark place because for whatever reason you threw away your marriage to someone you describe as loving and kind. Clearly your feeling towards him were not strong enough to sustain the relationship. You are where you are. It doesn't make you a totally bad person, nobody is perfect.
You can't wave a magic wand over your situation, Im sure you aren't expecting some quick solution, but you do need to be strong, to change things in the future. In your early 40s your life is not over. Lets face it, your ex had to pick himself up and move forward and he was the wronged party so there is no reason you cant. You probably need to do a little less "woe is me" and a little more "how can I change my life for the better?"
Maybe some volunteering or charity work may put things in a different focus. Or start an evening class to meet new people. Or something to help you look outwards for a while.
We all make mistakes, it's how you pick yourself up afterwards that counts! Good luck.
Have you been to your doctors op about some antidepressants? I think you need some extra support xx look we all make mistakes. Please don't beat ypurself up anymore xxx
Just as daisychain said, you need to help yourself move forward.
I'm not sure cbt is the thing you need.
It is not surprising or unusual to be unhappy after all of that so don't try to run away from your unhappiness. Your unhappiness is a necessary emotion. it forces you to stop and examine why you made so many bad decisions and figure out how to break that pattern.
Your marriage was over but instead of ending it properly you used an affair. Not a wise move but hardly unusual.
my imagination tells me you don't want the man you had am affair with, is more like you want to feel better and make sense of everything. The affair working out would at least make sense of it all.
The good news is you are no longer in a bad marriage. The good news is you are no longer part of a failing relationship. The great news is that whatever happens next can all be on your terms. You get to decide how the rest of your life is shaped.
You can define the rest of your life by these difficult times and sadness over the mess that was made or you can deal with it, take responsibility, make amends and move forward. Make it work for you. And its all a choice you make. every time you choose to look back, send a begging text you are choosing a less of a future.
It's all in your hands. I think many of us would like a second chance, well you have one. stop punishing yourself. You did a bad thing, okay, you've accepted responsibly, you've apologised, stop letting it define you.
if the friendships are over make new friends. you are not going to wake up one morning and everything will be okay. you have to take small positive steps everyday. I would highly recommend some form of giving or reaching out. Maybe helping disadvantaged kids in some way. And exercise, if you don't already. And careful monitoring of negative thought processes. you get to decide what thoughts run round your head just decide to banish the ones that are bringing you down.
life is going to get much much better. You are going to find the happy contented you again and you will probably be an improved you. For one you'll have a lot more empathy and understanding and that's probably going to really help someone else one day.
It's clear you're in a very bad place right now.
But, just as you were able to make all the choices that got you to this, you can make the choices which get you out.
Did you self-teach CBT? Have you also seen a counsellor to help you work out why you checked out of your marriage (thus initiating this entire chain of events)?
What people learn from their experiences is what takes them forwards through life. You seem to have got stuck, but you can get moving again.
Big Hug OP - I normally cringe when I read that but you sound like you need it.
You are possibly looking back at your marriage with Rose tinted glasses as something was lacking enough for you to embark on an affair. An affair that wasn't a fling but lasted 2 years. There would have been plenty of time in those 2 years to come to your senses and realize what you were risking and end it but this didn't happen. Maybe you now look back on your marriage and would rather that (whatever was lacking) than being on your own (for now).
Your H has moved on - you need to respect this and stop contacting him, it's not fair on him or his new partner...or yourself.
As for half your friends, most women despise the OW - she is the bogeyman, the stuff of their nightmares, she creates insecurity, they suspect she is after all married men not just that she developed overwhelming feelings for one man, she is living breathing proof of what can and does happen in some marriages. You will just have to forget those friends and find replacements.
The other half you say you isolated yourself from, try to make a real effort to see and talk too. They may not have much sympathy for your current situation (as the outcome of your choices) but you may have some support from one or two. No matter how hard you find it you need to be around people, isolating yourself isn't the answer.
Maybe make an appt with your doc re depression as it sounds like it to me.
As for the rest, you are 41, you are young and will meet someone again, you had it once, it will find you again. You need to mourn and accept the chapter of the last 10 years is now over first.
Thank you. Just these kind words are helping so much.
WildBill's post, amongst others, is very helpful, sosad.
I suspect, although I obviously don't know, that you are struggling to come to terms with what you've done. The affair itself then telling your husband about it. It all must have been bubbling along nicely for two years and then you confessed... and from that point on, it went quickly out of your control and your husband ended the marriage. Did you want him to take charge and end it rather than for you to have to make that decision because you felt your 'grounds' weren't good enough?
Why are you still contacting him? Do you need something from him still? What? It sounds as if he's happy now, doesn't hate you and would be quite happy for you to move on and be happy also. That's a great outcome really.
Ultimately, you will need to forgive yourself. You are the person and the only one who can do that. Do you feel that you need a 'punishment'? The fact that you are in pain is a punishment already.
If you gave something back to the community, the 'universe' or something like that, would that help you? Maybe send your ex husband one last card/letter wishing him well and saying goodbye.
You did a bad thing, you are not a bad person and you will be happy again...
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