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Struggling one year on

(18 Posts)
FairySouth Fri 15-Jul-16 23:41:30

Any advice on how to deal with an affair one year on?
We've just hit the milestone and it feels I am reliving it all over again.

Background is that I caught dh out (by msg snooping) that something happened with a colleague at work. They at least shared a bed but he has never admitted anything else other than hugging her all night, but I think minimum was groping after the msgs saying "I hope we didn't go too far for you"

Regardless, I wanted to stay and try and save our marriage and he did too. We have a young dd and I just wasn't at a place to make a break and didn't want to. It prob says a lot of my self esteem but that's where we are right now.

Things have fumbled along but I'm not happy. I want to go back to how I felt when we got married but the affair anniversary has now arrived and I'm reminded of it all and it still tears me apart.

I know we need some counselling but dh is in a bad place now for other reasons and he won't be able to cope with 2 lots of counselling plus his AD meds.
(basically dh moved jobs, then lost his job and is now unemployed and depressed.)

What a fab year it's been!

Any thoughts on how we move forward? I don't really have anyone to speak to in RL as only one person other than us knows this all happened.

SandyY2K Sat 16-Jul-16 01:25:28

The dday anniversary is often painful especially the first one.

Struggles are very normal as it can take 2 to 5 years to heal from infidelity and that's if you have a remorseful spouse, doing the hard work required for a successful reconciliation.

Is there anything you need from him to help you feel safe?
Is he transparent with his phone now?
Do you feel you got the truth? It doesn't sound like he came clean and that in itself will be playing on your mind?

A remorseful spouse answers your questions honestly. Now he's depressed and you probably feel unable to share how you feel with him, as a result of his affair.

Your marriage won't ever be like before because you've suffered a betrayal and don't have the same trust you used to. That's to be expected given the trauma.

If you can't do MC now a good book for him to read is 'how to help your spouse heal from an affair' by Linda Macdonald.

Triggers are normal. Over time they reduce, but it can also depend on how you dealt with it at the time. What led to the affair, how he crossed the line, where they planning to hook up again. Until or unless your questions are answered...it's hard to make progress.

However, sometimes you just can't get past it and the betrayal never leaves your mind. The foundation is gone and you just coexist within the marriage and trundle along going through the motions.

Give yourself another year see how you feel, then reassess your situation.

FairySouth Sat 16-Jul-16 07:45:36

Thank you. Yes I don't think all was revealed at the time. I think he lessened what happened and only revealed what I could prove but I have such low self esteem that I didn't deal with it well at the time.
In hindsight I should've kicked him out for a few days so he really understood the gravity of it all but instead he stayed in the spare room for a night but then I missed him and felt so alone so it didn't last. I don't have friends or family locally so he is one of my only support nearby so I didn't do what I should have.
The time has passed now so I can't go back and change the reaction I had. I also feel like as I made the decision that I wanted to make it work I should be dealing with it and getting over it as I made the choice to stay, but I'm not over it yet.

Cabrinha Sat 16-Jul-16 08:06:06

I don't know where this 2-5 years comment comes from - very random.
I will agree with PP's other comment - that sometimes it won't heal. Certainly didn't for me. Too much is made in our society sometimes of "forgive and forget" - for an affair, it needs to be "understandable, work, build, learn, accept, move on, forgive - but don't forget", in my opinion. But sometimes you can't.

It certainly won't heal if he doesn't put the effort in, which he hasn't.

It doesn't matter how you reacted then, what decision you made. You absolutely have the right to change your mind. Especially as he's done fuck all to help.

Sex or groping or whatever - he was in bed with another woman. That's ENOUGH for you to call game over.

My advice is:
1. Remember that it's OK to think, you disrespected me by cheating back then, and you haven't been honest about it or tried to fix it since, so we are OVER. You are allowed to do that.

2. If he wants to keep you (if you want to try) then tough shit that he's having a hard time! How hard a time did you have /are you having? Yes, he can do 2 lots of counselling. Yes, he can cope. If he thinks he can't - then tough shit should have thought about that before cheating. The cheating has had a massive impact on his life - even though you stayed, your marriage is shit right now because you are unhappy. A shit marriage is a priority for counselling.

You are still allowed to get angry love.
You are still allowed to say "no, you broke it and actually I can't limp on with a broken marriage".
You are allowed to say "counselling, or bust".

Absolute minimum to have any hope of forgiving, is that you should trust him (how can you, when you don't even feel you have the truth about the affair?) and that you should know that he wants to fix it - which means on a day like today you should be able to say "I want to tell you how I feel, how much your actions still hurt me". If you can't share how he has made you feel with him today, then he has NOT done enough to fix your relationship.

user1467709068 Sat 16-Jul-16 08:40:53

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

SandyY2K Sat 16-Jul-16 08:44:27

OP

I've sent you a PM. I hope you find it useful.

Just because you said you'll stay and try doesn't mean you are stuck for life. You stayed and tried and it isn't working for you.

It's not everything you can get over no matter how remorseful a cheating spouse is. He did what he did and you have every right to still be mad.

People have tried to reconcile and still left 5 years after because they just couldn't get passed it. As every year passes they think next year will be better or it will improve, but the feelings and triggers are ever present.

When you see the person who did this to you in every day that's a massive trigger in itself.

Cabrinha Sat 16-Jul-16 08:51:23

Reported the spammer hmm

Cabrinha Sat 16-Jul-16 08:53:56

SandyY2K you are frequently commenting that you've sent PMs.

One of the great things about this site is that it is a wealth of resource and opinion and links that anyone can access. People in a similar position might find threads useful much later. Would you consider putting your links to useful information on the thread? Then they carry on being useful?

(and also then it doesn't look like you're recruiting to some cult that you're being secretive about grin)

FairySouth Sat 16-Jul-16 11:08:29

Thanks all.

I agree that there is definitely still work to do. I want to keep trying to move forward as I still remember what life was like before. I guess I need to remember that life has changed now and we need to talk and figure out a way forward.

I don't condone what he did at all and to me he cheated but life had been pretty rubbish in the build up so although it's his fault what happened as there is no excuse for cheating I think I understand why it happened.

I don't think I'm the easiest wife, I am quite critical and controlling. I think that's one of the things I'd like to address at MC so I want to work on my faults too so we can build a better marriage.
I just don't feel I can talk to him right now about how I feel as I honestly worry that it could push him over the edge with his depression. In his current state I don't think he'll see it as me talking to him so we can do something about it, he'll possibly think that it's me saying I want to split up in the future as I can't forgive him.

I'd honestly say I think I trust him again. I don't feel the need to check his phone or anything and he doesn't hide it from me either. Although I wonder if it's more that I trust myself to know if something wasn't right so if he were to do anything again I'm pretty sure I'd pick up on it (as this is already his second strike and I picked up the first time too as well as the second. I had a gut feeling and I was right)

I know what people will say, he's done it before? Why are you still there?
First time was different and was what I would call a minor offense (was about 9 years ago). I have made it very clear that should I find anything at all else has happened at any other time then he is out the door, no more chances.

Cabrinha Sat 16-Jul-16 13:20:28

You're excusing a lot there. All he learnt the first time, is that he can get away with it. And he has again sad

FairySouth Sun 17-Jul-16 08:07:18

I guess I am. I don't really think there is any excuse for what he did but there are things I understand because life hasn't been easy.

I don't think previously I was strong enough to make demands and risk the end of our relationship as I feel the last decade of my life has been intertwined and based on us.

Last year I again felt weak. We had an 18 month old dd and I guess I didn't want our marriage to end as I have invested so much in it.
I am slowly learning to be stronger and know that should anything happen again I will go with no excuses.

SandyY2K Mon 18-Jul-16 13:15:49

SandyY2Kyou are frequently commenting that you've sent PMs.

Cabrinha

I do post general info here, but I belong to numerous forums and many of them don't allow you to post certain links or to mention other online sites publicly.

The guidelines are so lengthy on all these sites, so I generally don't read it all and decide that if I post without insulting or swearing and provide objective support/advice, that I'll be within the guidelines.

Posters here have PMd me for info when they see I've referred to a PM and I will forward the info without hesitation.

Sometimes I know that one of the other sites has many people in the OPs situation and would essentially be useful and possible provide better support as people have walked in the exact shoes. Like double betrayals, or dealing with break ups or your DP having an affair with a same sex partner.

Some sites are particularly useful for those who have been betrayed or those who are OWs and I don't want it to seem like I'm directing people away from MN or that I'm supporting people who are OWs, as it could look like I'm saying this site (MN) isn't useful/helpful and they should go elsewhere and that I'm directing everyone in that situation to do so. That's not actually the case.

I'm also weary that having posted what I intended as helpful supportive comments here, I've received some nasty personal direct attacks, so I really tred with caution.

Such direct attacks aren't permitted and result in bans or suspensions on other sites, but I've realised it's not the case here and I want to keep out of the firing line.

BarbaraRoberts Mon 18-Jul-16 13:27:09

Sandy would you mind PMing me the links to your cult please? flowers

adora1 Mon 18-Jul-16 13:30:46

So he's cheated twice and had zero consequences, sorry OP, I don't think he can be trusted and I'd guess with a free reign he will jump at the next opportunity,

You deserve FAR better than him.

adora1 Mon 18-Jul-16 13:34:11

And it doesn't matter how annoying or critical you can be, you didn't cheat, your husband did and has made a joke of your marriage, twice now.

You need to realise that OP, you and him are very different when it comes to what marriage means and fidelity, he doesn't seem to give a hoot. Don't you think you'd be better of finding someone who is actually capable of staying faithful, no matter how rocky the road gets?

SandyY2K Mon 18-Jul-16 13:49:08

BR

I won't respond as you're clearly mocking me.

BarbaraRoberts Mon 18-Jul-16 13:54:44

Actually, I'm not sandy
I could really do with some help tbh xx

My jokey manner is a survival mechanism

BarbaraRoberts Mon 18-Jul-16 13:55:39

But don't worry if you're not comfortable doing so. I understand

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