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DH - emotional affair with someone else - gutted!

(40 Posts)
printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 17:29:40

We have been married nearly 20 years and have 2 kids at primary school. I recently asked DH if there was somone else as he kept on disappearing off in the evenings for two or three hours at a time! He said there had been (he is generally incapable of lying when asked something directly) but he said it was going to end. Turns out it was an "emotional affair" - a friendship that had blossomed over the last year and had culminated, two months ago in several kissing bouts - no sex apparently (btw I do believe him re: the no sex). As far as I know there have not been any other women.

Apparently, according to his parents (who are also generally incapable of lying) he had been to see them in tears the day before I asked him if there was someone else. He was struggling with guilt and his parents urged him to break off the affair. The day after I found out he ended the affair via email and copied me in. I vaguely know who the woman is as I've met her once.

Am really struggling with my feelings over all this. Feel devastated. We had grown apart I guess but I feel so betrayed. He is sorry that it happened but somehow that doesn't seem enough - I need to feel loved by him again. I know the affair is over now and it is early days - but is it possible to rebuild things after this or for you would it result in the end of the marriage? What would you need in order to rebuild trust? I just can't think straight about it all. We are trying to rebuild things and talking things over alot (he is still here at home, I didn't kick him out) but it all seems so hard! Going to counselling helps - but is not a magic bullet!

Has anyone else come out the other end after something like this, happier with a stronger marriage (after a lot of graft obviously)? Any tips?

FermezLaBouche Tue 04-Dec-12 17:34:45

What a knob.
Personally I feel this isn't just an emotional affair - there's been kissing and I would bet next month's pay there's been more. Having clung to a cheat before and watched myself turn into a jealous, possessive person on the verge of a breakdown, I could never forgive a cheat again. Ever. How can you ever return to a state of trust?

I really hope you get the full truth

Charbon Tue 04-Dec-12 17:38:07

I've known lots of couples to get through a crisis like this and emerge with a happier, stronger marriage but only when certain factors are present.

The first is the unabridged truth and I don't think you've got that yet. It is extremely unlikely that if he has seen this woman regularly and in person, it stopped at kissing.

So you can't yet make a decision about this until you know the extent of it. Also, while you might have grown apart and have both been at fault for that, you are not to blame for your husband having a secret affair with someone else. If it's been going on for at least a year, I'm sure you did grow apart. Be careful not to assess the state of your marriage based on what it was while this affair was ongoing, because secret relationships very often cause couples to grow apart.

Xales Tue 04-Dec-12 17:41:47

I hope for you that he is telling the truth, however...

He is not such a bad liar that he hasn't been developing this for the last year and only when it got deeper did you get more suspicious.

He was going to hers for 2 - 3 hours in the evenings and they were only kissing?

Sorry. From the multitude of people on this board cheaters tell the absolute minimum that they can get away with. More 'truth' is dragged out of them bit by bit.

You can't fix it. He was the one who gave himself permission to do this. You can turn yourself inside out and upside down. If he does not openly and honestly work on himself as to why he did this you will never have a strong marriage again.

I would suggest a STI check just for your own peace of mind even if you believe him and ask him to have one too as it may help to bring home how much he has done and how much he has damaged your trust.

Fairylea Tue 04-Dec-12 17:42:17

It's not an emotional affair. It's an affair. Sex or not there was touching and kissing. And quite frankly if he is the type to kiss another woman and you didn't think he would I really wouldn't be too sure there was no sex. Sorry to be so blunt but consider having an std check. (I say this as someone who's ex husband left me for an ex he was with before me and he found her again on facebook after 7 years with me).

I really couldn't trust him after that... I don't think I could ever completely trust him enough to relax in the relationship.

For me it was better to divorce and meet someone else.

But I hope you make whatever decision suits you.

aftereight Tue 04-Dec-12 18:01:35

Oh print, I feel your pain, my story is almost identical to yours, except I am two weeks down the line. It hurts like hell. Like yours, my H says there was kissing and touching but no sex. Like you I think that is the whole truth, but I can't ever be sure.
Have you read the Shirley Glass book? We are both reading it and it's helping me to rationalise my feelings, and H to understand just how awful the impact of his actions are. We are going to counselling, but I'm not yet able to commit to trying to make things work, I can't even look at H yet, though we are talking loads.
Take your time, don't make any decisions, and think about yourself. It's a truly awful time of year for this to happen, isn't it?

Sylvana Tue 04-Dec-12 18:36:27

Sorry OP but I agree with the others, its very unlikely this was just kissing ... thats what 12 year olds get up to ffs. If it doesn't make sense, its not true. You need the whole truth here, he owes you that much. Hugs to you.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 04-Dec-12 18:41:57

Married for 20 years with two young kids suggest that you and your H married very young. It's possible that you have outgrown or are in the process of outgrowing each other. Before you start making huge efforts to stop him leaving you, take the time to consider whether you actually want to keep him as your partner, or whether it's just fear of the unknown: there are worse things than being single, and one is living with a partner who would rather be with someone else but is ostentatiously being dutiful about staying.

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 19:11:52

Aftereight - hugs. It's shit isn't it? Thanks for tip about book.

I married him in my early 20s so, yes I was young Solid. I thought he was different from other men (ha!).

I guess at least he owned up when I asked him although I do wonder if it's the whole truth.

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 19:31:47

Things were bad between us before he started affair. I know that doesn't give him an excuse. We were arguing lots, we are sooo different. We've never resolved our differences properly really. Guess we'd better do now or he might bugger off with someone else!

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 04-Dec-12 19:33:02

So sorry.

I find it to believe that a year long affair didn't involve anything more than kissing.

In order for you both to be able to recover successfully, there needs to be FULL honesty and openness and he has to go to counselling to find out why he chose to have an affair instead of talking, counselling etc.

I would get these books:

www.shirleyglass.com/book.htm

www.lindajmacdonald.com/Mini-Books.html

Both are available from amazon and have helped so many people on here.

Abitwobblynow Tue 04-Dec-12 19:47:06

And HE must read the books, not you.

I eventually realised we were going nowhere when I had piles of 'healing from an affair' on my side and on his side were the usual war adventure stuff.

Make that a requirement: that he must read the books, and then tell you what are in them/how they make him feel.

This test more than anything else (in my experience) lets you know the fibre of his fabric.

Charbon Tue 04-Dec-12 19:50:27

Guess we'd better do now or he might bugger off with someone else!

.....is the wrong approach, I'd suggest.

If you adopt the stance that you'll now turn into superwife to stop this happening again or your husband running off with this woman, it'll ruin your self-respect, any respect your husband has for you and most of all, it doesn't work.

Instead, if you've had a difficult marriage but you've been putting up with it because it was easier than the alternative, consider this as an opportunity to end it.

If on the other hand your marriage wasn't as bad before his affair as either he or you is making out and/or you both want to rescue it, your husband needs to find out why he chose another relationship instead of confronting your joint problems - and you need to work out whether you can stay with someone who has abused everyone's trust.

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 19:51:30

Yes good idea Abit. He should read them.

Am also thinking about the STI testing idea! He'll love that!!!

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 19:56:44

I also feel that he's not really sorry enough. He says he doesn't regret having the friendship with her, because he liked her company, he just deeply regrets crossing the line and kissing her.

Something doesn't sound right there does it? I think he must be missing her.

cpots Tue 04-Dec-12 19:56:50

So sorry OP... your posting sounded so like my experience ... 23 years together 2 primary kids, even down to the 'The day after I found out he ended the affair via email and copied me in. I vaguely know who the woman is as I've met her once'.
Solid hit the nail on the head for me as well .... 'whether it's just fear of the unknown: there are worse things than being single, and one is living with a partner who would rather be with someone else but is ostentatiously being dutiful about staying. '
We tried (or should I say I!) for nearly a year until I had done all that I could to salvage something I knew in my heart was unforgiveable. He was still continuing his emotional affair the whole time!! Coward!!
3 year's on I am divorced and have never been happier, HOWEVER, it is a very hard road as many posters on here can vouch for, you need to do what is right for you and your DC ... my DC are happy, settled and are different children.
Good luck with what you decide ... big hugs xxx

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 20:03:20

cpots - glad its worked out for you and that DC are happy x

I just feel like someone is wringing out my insides, my stomach has been in knots for last 8 weeks.

Charbon Tue 04-Dec-12 20:03:31

I think he sounds very emotionally attached to this woman and so the E mail was probably a sop to appease you. I don't think this is where it ends, because if there were strong feelings on both sides, an E mail is a very cowardly way of ending a relationship.

For someone who is ambivalent about staying in a marriage, or when both parties are - it's much better to have a clean break. It will destroy you if you see him grieving and I think you'll always wonder whether there has been further contact.

It's better if he thinks he's lost you right now, than thinking he's lost the OW.

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 20:10:36

Charbon - he did go and see her to end it properly the day after email was sent. He rang me to say he wanted to say goodbye face to face and that he was on his way, but he wanted to clear it with me first. It was in his lunchbreak. I agreed - was I mad?!!

Doha Tue 04-Dec-12 20:11:53

Yep totally mad

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 20:14:06

I also emailed her to tell her what I thought of her!!!! Made me feel better for a minute or two!

cpots Tue 04-Dec-12 20:14:34

Print - I'm so sorry that you feel this way and I can't tell give you any miracle answers - he needs to be very honest with you something my ex never was sad which made it harder for everyone!
My one bit of advice would be to really think about what YOU want in all of this, go with your gut ... stay strong x

EdithWeston Tue 04-Dec-12 20:17:02

If he is severing contact, then the best way is email (or phone call with you listening in), so you know he is saying " I realised now that our relationship was wrong. I love printmeanotherphoto and am going to be making every effort to be the husband she deserves". No need to have a private meeting to say that.

He was the one in the wrong in expecting you to sanction further contact with his (possibly unconsummated) mistress.

Are you sure it's over, not just more carefully concealed? Sorry.

Abitwobblynow Tue 04-Dec-12 20:17:25

Don't be hard on yourself - you are currently shell shocked and numb. You do go along with really stupid things in this state, the rage will come later.

Again, so very very sorry you are feeling this terrible devastation I wouldn't wish on the worst most horrible woman in the world.

I think you should kick him out. It is what I should have done, watching him prefer another woman to me has left very deep scars on my heart.

Abitwobblynow Tue 04-Dec-12 20:18:24

I meant to say: if he isn't around, and you don't see it, then you are showing yourself respect and you won't experience something you can never really forget.

Xales Tue 04-Dec-12 20:18:49

So he told her it was over and then the next day went to see her to end it face to face. Why? Because he owed her? Because he cared about her? What about what he owed you? What about how he is supposed to care for you?

He put her feelings over yours straight away.

He lasted less than a day saying it was over and there would not be anything between them any more didn't he!

Will he need to go and see her again if she is upset or needs him?

He has to prove that you can trust him. Great way to start already going to see her the day after ending it sad

Xales Tue 04-Dec-12 20:20:06

Unfortunately you can't police him as that will kill anything left stone dead.

And he can easily meet her in lunch hours...

Doha Tue 04-Dec-12 20:20:20

Not sure l would have emailed OW to be honest-it wasn't her who cheated on your wedding vows your anger is directed at the wrong person.
Your H seems to have got off lightly. I think he should be asked to go stay with his DP's for a while until you really get your head clear and work out what you want.
I would be surprised if it is really all over especially after their meet up. Your H really has to be made aware of just what he stands to loose if he carrys on with the OW and just now all he is really thinking about is himself.
He broke off the most likely sexual affair at his parents suggestion -it was NOT his idea, he just couldn't cope with the guilt. Where was the remorse there OP. IT is all about him.
If his parents had suggested leaving you and going to the OW would he have taken there advice???? Just asking......

Wishingforthesun Tue 04-Dec-12 20:20:46

It's an affair simple I also would bet he has done more! But how have you been in the relationship have you become "settled" I see so many people on here and around who say they can't be arsed to treat there dh. and constantly bash them ( don't think I'm saying you do, more a reflection on so many!)
Relationships if wanted can be fixed but we do neglect them! This happened to someone I know and they have now remembered why they are together and have moved on fine.

suburbophobe Tue 04-Dec-12 20:25:00

Sounds like he has checked out -sorry.

Up to you now what you want to do with your life and that of your children.

I couldn't stay in a marriage/relationship like that cos the trust has gone.

suburbophobe Tue 04-Dec-12 20:25:29

<speaking as a LP>

Charbon Tue 04-Dec-12 20:31:41

I don't imagine the difficulties in the relationship were one-sided or that any neglect of the marriage was the sole province of the OP's. Often it's a good question to ask when did he last make you feel cherished, desired, loved and respected? And if that's a long time ago, why didn't you have an affair?

If he went to see her after the E mail, I understand why he did that but it just demonstrates that his feelings for her are very strong. And you'll never really know what was said. Why he was ending the relationship and why he is staying with you. The E mail is now worth nothing.

It's very important that he's staying for the right reasons and because he hasn't had to face any losses with you yet, he might not know that. Instead his focus will be on the loss of this other woman and that relationship.

It's also really important that you want to stay for the right reasons. If you are so different and the marriage was bad, why do you want to stay in it? Especially now that he has done this?

Abitwobblynow Tue 04-Dec-12 20:42:06

Wishing although I agree with what you say (I got 'bashy') you are kind of missing out the other side of it, the bit we have no control over: and that is the bashy stuff happens only after husbands have consistently ignored any attempt on our parts to be heard, raise issues and move forward on stuff.

It really isn't as simple as 'treat him nice and then he won't stray'. We have needs to be nurtured and cherished too you know.

Distrustinggirlnow Tue 04-Dec-12 22:05:00

Oh OP it's horrible isn't it, I feel your pain, I really do.
What I wished someone had of told me when I found out about DH's flings, is that they are capable of lying. Mine did and I never knew, I really had no idea at all. Yours has been lying too, probably every day, about where he was going etc.
Has he been possessive over his phone? Does he have to work late, start earlier sometimes. Does he have to stay away occasionally, with a very plausible reason?
I've also found that they drip feed. Little bits of information. They'll tell you the least they think they can get away with.
And if you ask, for example, so did you just meet her at lunchtime, the answer will be yes, as that's what they think you want to hear.
I know you probably don't want to hear this, but I would say its gone further than kissing.
What is he doing to try and make amends.
Yes you can recover, but its a long road and needs total transparency from him.
Good luck!
Xx

printmeanicephoto Tue 04-Dec-12 22:51:11

Not bashy, but our house had become a battleground over last 2 years . He would say something insensitive, bordering on unkind IMO and I would react.

Charbon Tue 04-Dec-12 22:54:20

How sure are you that this relationship only started in the past year? How long has he known her?

EdithWeston Tue 04-Dec-12 23:18:13

It's the emotional content of affairs and the inherent dishonesty towards a spouse that is often the most devastating part of an affair. Taking emotional intimacy out if a marriage is every bit as bad as profligate physical intimacy.

He has his parents available to him (and tough love from them might help him sort out his priorities). Do you have RL support?

AgathaF Wed 05-Dec-12 08:31:13

he did go and see her to end it properly the day after email was sent. He rang me to say he wanted to say goodbye face to face and that he was on his way, but he wanted to clear it with me first.

He wanted to go to say goodbye. He wanted to clear it with you first (permission to ease his conscience). He, he, he. What about what you wanted? What about putting you first? Is he now walking around with a face like a wet weekend grieving the loss of his lovely 'friendship'?

Does he really, really want your relationship to work? Has he spelt out some of what he will do to try to make that happen? Has he given you transparency over his phone, emails etc? Do you know where he is whenever you want to?

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 05-Dec-12 08:42:11

You say things have been less than great for two years - would that be when OW first came onto the scene? Often the cheater will become distant, withdraw from family life, become critical etc in order to create emotional space - so that they can have an affair.

The fact that he is putting her needs first show how attached he is to her and he will stay in this fantasy fuelled bubble for a while.

To burst this bubble, he needs a hard dose of reality to hit him and that means you need to get tough and tell him you need space and time to consider your future and whether you still want to be married to him.

Please do not go round being the perfect wife - this is guaranteed to fail as the only thing that will motivate him is LOSS.

JustFabulous Wed 05-Dec-12 13:37:42

Maybe your relationship only started to fall apart when he started snogging another woman...sad.

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