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When does it get easier? Does it get easier? Is this it?(59 Posts)
Today (Feb 14th) is the third anniversary of the day I was first told that my husband had had an affair with my then best friend. Today always sucks. Will there come a point when it doesn't suck? When it isn't the there like a little pokey goblin at the back of my mind, niggling me that he's not to be trusted. I have worked so hard to move past it, so has he in his own way. Is this it? Am I always going to feel like I wasn't good enough, and will I always doubt whether I am?
This is uncharacteristicly maudlin for me: I normally just plough through the sore stuff and power on with the things I have some control over. Sadly I'm no closer to feeling like I have the power over the maudlin bits and it's weighing on me today.
Are you still with this man or have you moved on?
Gosh, sorry. We're still together, we split for a month or so once I accepted the reality of what he'd done.
I have worked so hard to move past it, so has he in his own way
I accepted the reality of what he had done
Sounds like you have done a lot of trying and he hasn't. No wonder it is still eating away at you.
Has he done everything he can to make you feel reassured? Is he still making you feel reassured? Or did he never even make more than a token effort?
How you answer this is critical. If he didn't try, or not for very long, he had no remorse, did he?
I might be jumping to conclusions here (and I would love to be wrong), but it sounds like nothing has changed, and he has pretty much got away with it. You are dealing with the fallout, he's happy as larry, living life as normal, whatever that may involve......
It might help of you list what he has done to make this better. At this point, it seems to be mostly you having put in the work.
Note to self: don't start threads whilst you're working.
Hold tight, I'll be back in a bit to answer your questions as best I can.
He went through the motions of the things I needed him to do at the time. In recent months he has done better. For want of a less "woo" phrase, he's more emotionally available now, for instance he recently apologised yet again, but for the first time it felt meaningful because he did it without trying to shift blame or obfuscate.
The sticking points for me are that 1) I'll never entirely know the truth of what happened, their two stories diverge fairly early on. 2) I'll never know why he did it. He can't explain why, which leaves me never fully knowing that it won't happen again (I know it could happen again whether I understand the motivations or not, but I feel it would help, because I just end up internalising and looking for flaws in me). 3) I'm the only one who has lost anything: she is still with her husband and children, my husband still has me and our child. I'm the one who has been squashed under the millwheel of their selfishness and their lives are essentially unchanged. For petty reasons that really really bothers me on days like today.
He hasn't done enough to fix it.
He might never be able to.
Doesn't matter how much one or both of you want to fix it - sometimes, it's fucked.
Sorry to be so harsh and negative.
But bare minimum - he hasn't done enough.
It shouldn't matter that their stories diverge - because 3 years on, he should have rebuilt enough trust that it doesn't matter that the stories are different - because you believe him. You might still not have a future, but you should at least believe him. I suppose her story is worse?
You need to know why. He won't tell you. If he doesn't KNOW, there is fuck loads of resources out there (books, counsellors) to help him understand.
If it's fundamental to your recovery for you to understand why, then in 3 years why hasn't he cared enough about your marriage to get you that answer?
It's not too late to tell him you still haven't decided to stay - and you need that answer.
And not believing him about what actually happened will eat away at you forever.
It took 3 years for him to produce a heartfelt apology? Yeah, sorry but he's not taken the steps necessary to made amends and unless and until he does, it will always eat at you.
My dad had an affair nearly 35 years ago and it was brushed under the carpet. They are still together and my mum is still raging and hurt underneath.
I'm terrified of the idea that it's not fixable. I don't want my marriage to be over. I've put everything, fucking everything I have into it. I did months and months of painful, awful therapy. I carried him through a huge personal bereavement, I raised our child virtually alone whilst he adjusted to his life post bereavement. I want what I feel I deserve: a happy marriage with the man I married without gremlins lurking in every corner. I'm going to stop short of saying "it's not fair", because I don't live in a Disney movie, but really I'm frustrated that I can't make it go away, and I don't think he can either.
Well, isn't fair. So stamp your feet if you need to!
But you've done all that for him, and he hasn't even given you the courtesy and respect of a reason?
Are you still having counselling?
Did he have it?
Did you go together?
I'm sorry to say this, but was it really a heartfelt apology, or more of a heartfelt thank fuck I got away with it?
Your feelings of betrayal and mistrust are quite legitimate ones IMHO. You need to stop thinking there is something wrong with you. There isn't. You find it hard to forgive and forget. He is the one who needs to provide the reassurance and from what you say he just isn't. There is no magic formula to make it OK again. It's sad but sounds like it won't ever be what you want it to be. I hope I'm wrong.
What cabrinha said.
What has your h done to demonstrate that he's filled with remorse at having sullied the sanctity of your marriage, and what has he done - and is continuing to do - to assure that he'll never be so
arrogant stupid again?
If he doesn't value your marriage above all things then you have no value for him, and if he doesn't make you feel valued you'll always be tormented by the thought that he may up and leave you for an ow at anytime.
It's unfortunate that you made your discovery on a
commercially significant date in the year rather than any old day of the week as there may have been more chance that you'd be so caught up with other matters you'd overlook it and it can only be hoped that, after the passing of many years of loving stability, you'll regard it as the day your marriage was put to the test and not found wanting rather than an indelible stain that always leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Over investing in a man who's proved himself to be untrustworthy will always carry the risk that you'll have to take a hit and cut your losses and only you can decide whether the dividends, so to speak, are worth the toll on your nerves.
It isn't fair, but maybe you can't get fair with this man? Your posts don't read like the posts of someone whose husband is regretful and making a real effort.
If only wishes made it so op
What you want and need bares no resemblance to the actual truth of what you have, your doing all the leg work to try and overcome this huge betrayal not just him but your best friend. You don't know the truth from either one of them.
It sounds like he's barely looked at the hurdles let Lone jumped over them, her life's not changed and neither has his. Yet here you are frustrated upset dare I say devastated, with no answers and 3 yrs down the line probably not going to get any.
So if you park all that and deal with the here and now, what do you want? What could he possibly say to you that would make all of that ok, and allow you to go forward.
The thing is op your wishing it didn't happen isn't helping, it's driving you mad with unresolved rage and sadness. Go talk to someone who can help you navigate a clearer path for yourself, if you don't your going to become ill, this sort of stuff acts like poison to the soul if not treated.
Sorry for the delay in reply, life happens constantly!
I spoke at length about it all in therapy, with an amazing therapist. I've spoken at length with all sorts of people who have lived similar experiences. It seems to be that one is supposed to give it time. Thing is I don't really know any more if I'm sad because of what happened, or if I'm sad because it has become habit. Part of me thinks I spend too much of my prodding the mouth ulcer that is my marriage, rather than just getting on with life. So for the most part that's what I do: press on and live my life, because I can't see an alternative. On notable days like yesterday though, I have a bit of a wallow I suppose.
I was on these boards in the months after it happened, and was told it wouldn't work and we would break up, perversely I'm still at it, still slogging.
Bad that you still don't have "full disclosure". In what ways do their stories diverge? Who did/do you believe?
Does OW's H know what happened?
Is it worth it? Will you ever feel good enough while you stay with him like this? Time might help if he was actually making a decent effort, but from your description it seems like this is just sliding along?
Even even he doesn't know why he did it, what's to stop him doing it again?
It doesn't sound like your marriage is bringing you any joy any longer, you describe it as a mouth ulcer that you prod it and it all sounds like such a miserable slog for you now.
I would say consider leaving, but I know that's easier said than done. I used to think I would leave if it were me - now I wonder if I'd just stay and hate him because it was the less scary option.
You're paying the price for your h's affair. What price did he pay? Did you chuck him out when you disovered it and did he have to do some serious work before you agreed to resume your marriage?
It's a lot for you to get over... two people you would have trusted the most.
How long did it go on for and how did you find out about it?
From your point of view what can he do to try to make it right? It might take time but I don't think anyone can give you any guarantees that you will ever feel any differently.
Did he attend some of the counselling with you?
Sorry for all the questions.
a happy marriage with the man I married without gremlins lurking in every corner
Sorry to say this but you won't ever get this back.
The man you married disappeared when he hurt you so badly.
He will now never ever be the man he was.
That is the reality you need to face.
It's been 3 years of slog for you.
What about him. He's just carried on no doubt.
If after 3 years you can't move past this then I don't think you ever will.
You can of course keep flogging the dead horse or you can make a decision to improve your life without this cheating scum bag living with you day in day out as it's clearly not working for you.
Three years of hard times and therapy for YOU, and it still hurts and its not going away. Maybe its time to reconsider your options?
Your husband had an affair with your best friend. Thats absolutely fucking awful. I dont know how time or therapy for you is going to heal that, really.
I only know one way I could personally cope with that situation and that would be to cut them both out without a backward glance.
So sorry you have been through this.
To go back to your OP: I genuinely can't remember the date I found out my XH was cheating on me. I know it was in February, though. For the first couple of years, I kept focussing on the dates and anniversaries of things - and then, at some stage, it all just went. I couldn't tell you the date of our divorce without looking at the paperwork (actually, I can't even do that - my DF "accidentally" lit the barbecue with it ). At some stage- and I honestly don't know when - it stopped being important.
I found out 15 years ago this month - I probably haven't actively thought about the date etc for at least 10 years. So it is possible - life gets in the way in the end. But it is different in that we split up, and my life moved on (as did his, with her, the bastard ) eventually - but as the years pass, it's not impossible that yours will too. I never had the whole "closure" thing either - but perhaps that didn't matter because we didn't stay together - but it's possible, I think, as long as you don't focus on keeping it alive indefinitely. And if you want your marriage to last, then you do need to do that: whether you can or not is another matter.
I can't go into the gory details too much because it will out me. Suffice it to say, we were fairly freshly married, they had dented my trust before we were married, but I'd recovered enough to go feel safe enough to marry. Within a year my whole world imploded and I was left trying to glue all the pieces back together.
For his part, he met the conditions I set: he told the people I wanted him to tell (bar one I found out about recently, possibly oversight, possibly shame on his part), he went to some therapy but it wasn't really successful for him for a few reasons, he has (to the best of my knowledge) been faithful since, and he is as patient as I believe anyone capable of being with my apparent inability to let go of my hurt.
My marriage isn't a mouth ulcer, that was poor wording: it's a bit like I have a boil or something. For much of the time there's a sore spot but everything is generally alright, every now and again the "boil" flares up, oozes emotional puss everywhere, makes life really difficult, and makes me cry. Then it all settles down back to a low level ache again. Does that make sense?
Incidentally, thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it.
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