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.

Wife cheated online with old flame

(11 Posts)
Catdad Fri 15-Jan-16 08:16:53

Hi All
I find myself in new territory for several reasons
I have never used a forum before
Never had a a cheating wife
Never sought advice from people I have never met

So here we go
Married for 10 years, 2 kids (8&9), 2 months ago I found some messages and explicit pictures on my wife's phone to a man she dated about 20 years ago
Confronted her, she admitted to have an online affair consisting of photos and some FaceTime calls with explicit content, it had been going on for 6 months.
She has said it flitted between normal convo and explicit in no particular order or pattern, she felt resentment as my job takes me away on the odd occasion or I work late and can't get away (I'm in the emergency services)
She says she wants me, has ended all contact, blocked him through all the normal avenues and now I am in this world of mistrust/anger/embarrassment with not a clue where to go with it.
I can't just turn off my feelings for her overnight but I am a different person now through it, I continually question her on everything and have big old mood swings
I'm so used to dealing with highly charged and confrontational things at work but seem to lack any direction with this
She wants me and knows she has massively screwed up and is trying hard to make amends but it's not as easy as that

Any advice welcome

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Fri 15-Jan-16 08:23:10

Hi. Sorry you're going through this. Basically your wife has to suck it up. She hurt you badly and will have to accept everything won't go back to normal instantly. She'll have to do whatever is necessary to earn your trust back. Talk about it when you want, allow you space when you need it etc. All her social media etc should also be available to you until you feel secure again. This will take time. Don't seek revenge if you do want to save your marriage. Talking and starting from basics will get you back on track if you both want it. flowers

PassTheWench Fri 15-Jan-16 09:06:41

flowers It must have been awful to find out what was happening behind your back and it's perfectly understandable that you are having mood swings. Do you think you will ever trust her again?

Don't let her try and pin this on you and your work hours; if she was feeling neglected she should of spoke to you. She needs to take full responsibility for this and do everything in her power to make it up to you.

It's hard to come back from this kind of situation but, if you still love her, it may work. The only issue I see is that, if your work hours remain the same, the problem still remains. Could you go to couples therapy?

Offred Fri 15-Jan-16 09:23:01

I think the first thing is you have been betrayed, your feelings are normal.

I wouldn't advise rushing into a decision about staying together or splitting up too soon. Take some time away from her to consider how you feel and what you want to do.

This is best for everyone. It gives you time and space to think about what you feel and want and it means if you decide to work things through you will not be dealing with as many feelings related to whether you want to continue or frustrations relating to having made the decision too quickly.

TheVeganVagina Fri 15-Jan-16 10:02:11

Dont allow her to try and blame you. You havent cheated.
If i ever felt neglected i would discuss it with my dh, not go looking outside the marriage.
What would have happened if you hadnt discovered it? How far would have she gone?
Your relationship will never be the same, you will never be the same.
It is up to YOU what you want to do now.
It is normal for you to be feeling what you are feeling, she has alot of work to do.

Razorlightnight Fri 15-Jan-16 10:20:19

Hi Catdad

I'm going through something similar at the moment so I know how you feel. I seem to be hit with a new feeling of betrayal every day and I worry that, even if I attempt to forgive, I'll never feel the same way about him as I did. Making what I thought was a great relationship a distinctly average one. I'm also finding it hard to be the decision maker in how things go forward. The onus being on me to forgive and to make things better again. Why should I work hard for this when I did nothing wrong? Sorry, am not trying to make this about me but just to, hopefully, show you that I understand. You're further down the line than me (I found out 3 weeks ago). I'm trying to live in the moment and not make any rash promises or decisions. What's right for you today may not be tomorrow.

Good luck.

Drew64 Fri 15-Jan-16 11:15:31

It all depends on what you consider 'cheating'
I will explain;

I had a series of online liasions, the content of which I will keep private but they were of a sexual nature.
It was not a regular thing, more of a rare occasional thing.
My DW found out and felt as if she didn't really know me.
We spent a lot of time talking about it, my DW had a lot of questions and we did end up in councelling.

This was several years ago, and for lots of reasons we are happier than ever.
We still talk about it but my DW does not consider that I cheated (I know other people would) There was no real person involved, I was never likely to meet anyone that I had encountered online, I was never going to cheat on her, I never will.
She sees it now for what it was, misguided sexual fun.
The hardest part for her to come to terms with was the trust.
We now know exactly what each other are up to because we became very open and honest with each other.

I know this is a deal breaker for some people but we took it as an opportunity and have not looked back since.

PassTheWench Fri 15-Jan-16 11:28:50

Drew64

I understand what you are saying; your situation sounds similar to how people use sex lines etc. The difference for the OP is the history between is dw and her old flame. This adds an emotional aspect and therefore more concerning I think.

ILikeUranus Fri 15-Jan-16 11:36:25

Hello, I have been in a similar position recently - I found out a month ago. Dh and I are now working things out. It's hard and I sympathise with you so much. We both read "Not just friends" by Shirley Glass. It's such a good book and I recommend you both read it ASAP. It has helped us so much. We have decided that we can get past it, working through in the way the book kind of sets out with real honestly and openness in our relationship, and him answering every question I have about it. Even though the answers are very painful to hear, I need to know the truth to be able to move forward and he needs to be able to be 100 percent honest with me, even when that is incredibly hard and comes with a lot of guilt and shame - it's just best for the relationship which we are both now putting first. We have worked out where things started to go wrong in the relationship and we have totally re-committed. When I have doubts and down days he is completely supportive and doing everything I need.

It'd really good that she'd ended it completely and blocked him. My dh had also ended it (the physical/sexual side) but was maintaining (minimal) contact as a kind of 'friendship', which he now realises is completely inappropriate and she is now completely dropped of course.

My advice (although I'm not through it yet) is for both of you to read that book. Decide if you both really love each other and are willing to make the marriage a top priority. You both need to put each other first and make things really good again. With her total support, openness (so you have access to her phone and all passwords and accounts) you can get through the down days and the doubts. At first you'll want to read everything and check everything and then that fades off quite quickly once you can see and trust that she's now totally committed again. Equally, if you can't trust (in time) or don't feel strongly enough about each other to both try really hard for this, then it's ok to admit that and go your separate ways. You need to be happy whatever you decide.

Good luck to you. x

Drew64 Fri 15-Jan-16 12:47:23

PassTheWench

I agree, in this example, it's a little close to home, I take your point.

But;
It does not have to be all negative, something positive may come out of it.
Who knows, if I hadn't been such a plonker maybe my DW and I may never have opened up to each other

Offred Fri 15-Jan-16 13:11:10

I think it's the cheated on person's boundaries re cheating that matter in terms of whether they continue. I accept the cheater may not believe something is cheating but that doesn't determine what the other person accepts.

For me personally I would be more hurt by 'just sex' based cheating, though much of whether I'd choose to move on together would depend on the cheater agreeing that they had done wrong and hurt me. Not thinking they had cheated at all would kind of kill that off!

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