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Left Husband for OM - 3 years later - miss the family unit and fear for the future

(164 Posts)
tickingclock22 Tue 23-Feb-16 10:51:04

Facts to date:
Husband was unfaithful. I in turn some years later left husband for other man. My children (20/21) remained living with their dad. I rented for a year but then went on to buy a house with other man and have been together since. He and I as far as our relationship/love is concerned is great - still deeply in love with him and he is with me.

Ex-husband has been living with new partner for past year in what was our family home for 20 years and our 2 adult children still live there.

Husband fought for me for over a year. But each time I considered going back for the sake of the family / for the 25 years we had been together I stopped and couldn't do it. Would have been for the kids and not for him.

However I remain forever guilty and shameful and also regretful. My son accepts my partner - my daughter doesn't which as you can imagine makes life tricky. I have never forced or pushed her. She has to make her own mind up about things.

But....boy do I miss that everyday family life. Yes I see my kids all the time and actually still have a very good relationship with my ex but the ties never seemed to severed. Always something that draws us. Our family is very close so I guess that's what makes it like that. But I know my life ahead could mean a distant relationship with my daughter..no xmas days...no family holidays...no lazy afternoons watching TV. I watch my kids and their BF/GFs go on holidays with their dad and his partner and I know they would never do that with me and mine. My daughter wont come to my house if partner is in. My daughter wont go to any family event if partner goes. I used to be so close to my daughter and they put me on a pedestal but I destroyed that when I lost self respect and my morals and went down the road of an affair.

What I am asking...as a mum...to 2 adult children who are very much home birds and whom have always been close to their parents and enjoy doing things with us...is love and happiness with your partner enough...Will I run the risk of always being an outsider to my kids lives purely because of whom I am with...I struggle with that concept every day...always fearing that one day I wont be included at all!

Can I make right the wrong that I have done...no I cant turn the clock back...I have offered to leave my partner if I knew it would make my kids happier but daughter said no as she wouldn't want me alone - also I know the quest would be on to get me back with her dad. Which I know deep down they all want including Ex...

Yes I made my bed...I know....I love my partner so much and that has never wavered...but...is it enough..?

Gazelda Tue 23-Feb-16 10:54:46

It sounds as though you are now with the 'right' man.

So it would be futile to end that relationship. What's done is done, you will never be able to erase the memory for your daughter.

I think it would be kindest to make sure everyone knows that you are committed to your new relationship. But you are also committed to your children. In time, with effort, you can build a strong relationship with your daughter, although it will be different from before.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 23-Feb-16 12:38:20

I understand you, OP, I know the feelings you are talking about - displacement being the primary one, if I'm interpreting your post correctly.

You left your husband for another man. What is wrong with that? You didn't stay married and have an affair, you left, did the honest thing. There is no need to feel guilt over that.

What's irking you, I think, is that you've lost your matriarch position in the family home shared for so long. You've not stopped being a mother, you're just now there. I also wonder if there is some fleeting resentment that a new partner is in 'your place', enjoying the family set-up that you wanted but couldn't for honest reasons?

It must be hard to see an ex husband that you no longer have loving feelings for, having them with somebody else and that relationship 'working well' whereas yours with him couldn't.

All of these feelings are valid and you should acknowledge them as such.
You've had some very big changes in your life and perhaps there are still some more to come?

I think as far as your daughter is concerned, do not offer to leave your partner. For a start, that denigrates the great relationship you say you have with your partner and I'm sure he would be saddened to hear you offer to drop him so easily. Your daughter is not a little girl and she will get past this.

Time to make a LIFE now with your new parter; you love each other, make your life together now. thanks

elizalovelace Tue 23-Feb-16 13:18:42

Lyingwitch that is an excellent,insightful post.

Hollie45 Tue 23-Feb-16 14:24:06

I feel very saddened that you would leave your new partner just to please your children. Why would you surrender the loving relationship you say you share with this man. I'm sure if he knew you had offered your daughter this option he would be devastated. I echo the words of Lyingwitch, commit to your new life and continue to build a future with him and your daughter also, in time you may find she will soften.

2rebecca Tue 23-Feb-16 14:40:49

Are your children20/21 now or 3 years ago? Either way it's sad your daughter is so bitter when you stayed together through her childhood.
She'll soon be leaving for her own home anyway.
Are you divorced? If so and the relationship is strong then getting married may make your daughter realise things are permanent and her demands for your husband not to go to events silly.
The family holidays/ Christmas day thing sounds as though it's about younger children. You were there at those times for them when they needed that (where as I was not and my kids only saw me some Christmases as we divorced when they were at primary school.).
Concentrate more on your new partner and doing stuff together/ hobbies etc. Age 20/21 I don't expect either of my kids to still be with me, my eldest age 19 has left and now rarely comes back as feels his uni base is now his home.
Your daughter's attitude is disappointing but she's old enough to realise it's selfish to want you miserable so she has the fiction of a happy nuclear family.
Put more emotional energy into your current partner and stop feeling ashamed of him.

summerainbow Tue 23-Feb-16 14:50:26

Your children are grown.
They are adults treat them like adults . Famliy holidays have done when they were young . It is your time to go on holiday with your partner .
You have adult life now and so do they. If your daughter does not like your partner then so be it. She will have boyfreinds you don't like.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 23-Feb-16 14:57:03

Have you sat down and talked with your daughter about your reason for leaving?

Maybe you should, not with all the gory details but enough to convey to her your reasons for leaving that it doesn't change your love for her. But you couldn't stay for the children forever.

Besides she will move out and have her own life at some point in the future what would you and your ex have done then?

I wouldn't leave my partner because my adult child wanted me to remain in an unhappy marriage.

ImperialBlether Tue 23-Feb-16 14:58:37

Does your daughter know that her father was unfaithful first?

tickingclock22 Tue 23-Feb-16 15:09:23

Thank you for all your replies. When I read them it seems so simple but I think my kids felt they had such a close family unit and now I have walked away from that. Their self esteem was really affected. Thought that maybe it was their fault. Yes they are 20/21 now but I know how much it has affected them and you want always that your children are happy. Like my daughter says 'its your mum you always turn to but when its your mum that's upset you its hard to understand'.

As for the holidays etc - my 2 have always been happy in mine and their dads company even as they have got older because we have fun with them and always include their friends or partners. I guess they feel a massive void because I am not there and in turn I feel a massive void because I want to have those times with them but know that wont happen with my daughter and my partner. She wont accept him as she feels he is the cause of our family unit being broken. If he wasn't on the scene then she feels I would go back to her dad. Whilst she is very mature on one hand she has retreated to almost child like where this is concerned.

I know it is my own guilt and sadness that brings me down. I want my partner but I want my kids to be a part of that also.

Yes I think it will be different when they leave home but there shall always and forever be the split family issues wont there and sadly their dad always takes priority due to them living with him - which I shall be honest I don't begrudge him that at all because he is a great dad and a great guy so would never want them to think differently. Just unfortunately I left so I get the outsiders bit. Although having said that my son remains very close still.

I know from the outside people think whats the fuss they are adults they will flee the nest and lead their own lives - I know that but like I said above its that guilt I constantly carry and also that separation anxiety of not fulfilling my role as their mum at home...

Thymeout Tue 23-Feb-16 15:11:00

Op, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we can assume that you were having an affair with OM before you left your husband?

So the difference between you and your husband is that he had an affair but stayed in the marriage, whereas you did the same but left him - and your dc's - to be with OM.

I can understand why you do feel some guilt. Whether or not your feelings are justified or whether you or your husband behaved in the most moral way is moot - and one of the reasons we have 'no fault' divorce.

But I can also understand why your daughter is conflicted. If she was 17 when you left home and feels loyalty towards her dad, she's in a v difficult position and unlikely to feel kindly towards OM. It's easier to blame him rather than you.

Cf all the threads on here when it's the man leaving his family for OW.

As you say, you can't put the clock back. Leaving your partner is unlikely to put things right. I think you have to accept that your daughter doesn't feel she owes you to pretend to be friendly with your DP. Perhaps things will change in time when she realises that life isn't black and white.

I agree with pp's. Focus on your new relationship. When marriages break up, people get hurt. You've no way of knowing whether it would have been worse if you'd stayed. You made your decision. There would be a price. You may have to accept that. But don't look back and second guess it now. No point.

tickingclock22 Tue 23-Feb-16 15:11:34

Yes my daughter knows her dad was unfaithful. Her response to that 'he didn't leave us though' I don't dwell on it. That's not me. She sees it that her dad was wrong but wanted to work things out. She doesn't see that pain it caused me and that 'I chose to let him stay'..

tickingclock22 Tue 23-Feb-16 15:16:45

Thymeout - you are spot on.

Myredcardigan Tue 23-Feb-16 15:31:30

I'm always amazed when adult children behave like this. I think your daughter needs to realise that it was her father who caused the break in the marriage. I know a few women who have taken their husband back after an affair only to them leave themselves within a few years. All felt that their husband's initial infidelity doomed the relationship. I think your daughter is being a little petulant tbh. She's 20yrs old, not 12. She's an adult and she must realise that adult relationships don't reflect in any way on how a parent feels about their children. She must also realise that any notion of you and get dad getting back together is ridiculous. Part of being an adult is transitioning your relationship with your parents onto a more equal footing of mutual respect.

ProfGrammaticus Tue 23-Feb-16 15:36:32

She probably does realise all those things. But if she doesn't feel like that - she doesn't feel like that. It's hard to change your feelings.

ImperialBlether Tue 23-Feb-16 15:36:47

Actually I think the first person to be unfaithful breaks the marriage and it is never truly repaired. No matter whether your husband wanted to stay or not, the damage done by his first betrayal cannot be underestimated, in my opinion.

Finallyonboard Tue 23-Feb-16 15:38:35

Love for a partner wouldn't be enough for me if it was the cause of me losing so much. For me, my DC and family are the most important people in my life and absolutely nothing would encourage me to walk away from them.

You assume that they all want you back, as time goes on that is likely to decrease. If you want your old life back, you'll have to walk away from your partner sooner rather than later I suppose.

Myredcardigan Tue 23-Feb-16 15:53:22

But finally, she didn't walk out on a husband and children. She ended her marriage to a man who had previously been unfaithful to her. Her children were young adults so no leaving them took place at all.

It's ridiculous for the op to be made to feel it was wrong to leave an already broken marriage to spare the feelings of her adult children. My parents are dead but their sex and relationship choices ceased to be in any way my business at all once I reached adulthood.

IamlovedbyG Tue 23-Feb-16 15:56:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Offred Tue 23-Feb-16 15:58:02

I think your dad's reaction is a common one seen in children of rubbish relationships whose parents actually split as soon as they are into adulthood.

She lived all her formative years being shown that the dysfunctional relationship was 'the way you do things' and now that has changed she is going to blame the person who precipitated the change from shifting things from 'normal and fine' to 'wrong'.

You say your ex still carries a torch and would pressure you if you split up with your current partner?

Well I think that's the source of your daughter's feelings. He is clearly in another dysfunctional relationship if he is in a LTR with someone else despite still pressuring for your return. He is still modelling dysfunction in relationships in her family home.

She is unlikely to come round while she is living there I think.

Offred Tue 23-Feb-16 15:58:27

*DD's not dad's ha ha!

Offred Tue 23-Feb-16 16:01:25

I was the oldest girl and I had to get two younger siblings to school, then myself and then come home to homework, dinner, washing etc. I think the resentment of having to do all that made it even harder for me to talk to her.

Why is your mum to blame for this? Presumably she left you with your dad? Why did your dad think you should step into your mum's role?

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 23-Feb-16 16:04:11

Honestly? Your daughter needs to gow up. Her father fractured the relationship. You were the one who had the guts to stop living the lie. It is very self centred for her to want you to live in a broken relationship for her sake.

What would happen if you got a bit angry and told it like it is?

Thymeout Tue 23-Feb-16 16:13:00

Offred - I think the problem is that for much of the time the relationship wasn't 'rubbish'. OP may have felt there was something missing, but everyone else was happy with the way things were. It sounds like a v close family.

Providing there are no outward signs of conflict, screaming rows, simmering hostility - which doesn't seem to be the case here - there is research that shows children would prefer the family unit to remain intact. It's more dysfunctional to have to maintain relationships with separated parents and new partners, perhaps with step siblings. I know that's not a fashionable view, but often true in my experience.

I think 17 is actually quite young, not 'adult' at all, especially in understanding how relationships work, or don't.

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 23-Feb-16 16:15:19

I don't think you can force things but you can control your own behaviour.

If the greater family invite your partner to events and you want to go, go.

Your DD's behaviour shouldn't change that. Keep the door open to her but don't stop your life either.

Enabling is a very powerful term but it is possible that she's almost generating attention for herself by saying i'm not going if x will be there and playing favorites. That needs to stop. If X is not a threat to her, then she needs to accept him or do the avoiding herself not expect everyone to feel sorry for her.

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