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Our post-affair discovery discussions continue...

(62 Posts)
LetsGoToTheHills Tue 26-Mar-13 23:05:57

It's been 2 1/2 weeks now since I found out and I've been mostly calm (which seems to spook him) and sad. We are being friendly and honest and have been talking a lot. It helps that it was a short affair and finished over a year ago. He is what I would describe as a workaholic (18+ hour days, laptop on holiday, never takes all his holiday allowance etc), and I have never felt that I and the DCs come first.

So our talk tonight ended in me saying:

" I feel really sad because I realise that you never loved me enough, otherwise you wouldn't have had an affair, and you wouldn't have always put work first. I want you to understand that although I may have given you a hard time about working all the time, the reason was I always wanted more of you. All I've wanted for years is to spend more time with you, and for you to want to spend time with me".

And he said:

"What did you want to do? You never said 'let's do this' or 'let's do that'..."

I was so upset by this reaction that for the first time ever I asked him to sleep in the spare room, and he is completely baffled as far as I can tell. Am I too cryptic and does he deserve further explanation? Is it obvious to you that he's completely missed the point thereby confirming everything I said? I really wish this wasn't happening to me, it's rubbish sad

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Tue 26-Mar-13 23:15:50

so, u have to invite him to spend time with u or 'Obviously'he'd be at work. his default is to be away from u and he shrugs not over that but shrugs because u didnt issue a lot of individual requests for his company.

onefewernow Tue 26-Mar-13 23:17:23

He is an utter bullshitter, and blaming you for his workaholism and affair.

My was did both too. I think they are often related, and to do with need for approval-self and from others.

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Tue 26-Mar-13 23:19:42

and instead of ever going to u and suggesting something hecwanted to do, he found the time to have fun and make time for somebody else! i get it! he shouldnt expect u to cordially invite him to take part in the marriage. but, sounds like he is waiting for an invite. not just one. a whole list of individual invites and each one will feel like a favour.

LetsGoToTheHills Tue 26-Mar-13 23:25:30

Thank you. I may well quote you in the morning!

badinage Tue 26-Mar-13 23:30:44

Can I ask why he is still there if this is what he's like?

He's hardly on his knees begging for forgiveness is he?

You need to find your anger, love. He will never in a million years get this while you are calmly accepting this and letting him stay without incurring any losses.

LetsGoToTheHills Tue 26-Mar-13 23:34:31

Even he says I should be more angry. Maybe it'll come soon...

badinage Tue 26-Mar-13 23:38:40

Why are you staying with him though? It doesn't sound like he's been use or ornament to you for years, having hardly been there.

You don't have to stay with someone who's been unfaithful to you and a shit husband and father before that. You can see this as the last straw and cut your losses you know.

Redbindy Tue 26-Mar-13 23:41:45

Do you drive him to work harder, or is it of his own volition? have you asked him why he found someone elses company preferable to yours? If you don't understand the reasons why he strayed your relationship is doomed. Comments along the lines of ditch the bastard are unhelpful.

LetsGoToTheHills Tue 26-Mar-13 23:46:27

No I have consistently said "we don't need the money, we could have a different life". The affair was at work, it was someone who understood what he does and appreciated and admired him for it.

What a mess.

EggyFucker Tue 26-Mar-13 23:47:17

Is he getting any professional help in unravelling why he gave himself permission to fuck another woman, and then blame you ?

Are you getting any to discover why you are willing to accept such treatment, then lay down in front of him with "kick me now" stamped on your forehead?

You are not his counsellor, he shouldn't be doing this with you, it is twisting the knife (as you are finding)

get some separate counselling and then, only if you really want to (and he does all the right things), possibly some joint sessions

alternatively, tell him to take a running jump

Redbindy Tue 26-Mar-13 23:52:00

Perhaps you've just grown apart and both of you need to come terms with that.Aggressive postures as advocated by eggyfucker will not help at all.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 26-Mar-13 23:52:09

Redbindy you sound a bit surrendered wife there confused The OP has stated she gave him a hard time about working too much so it's clear she didn't drive him to work harder.

LetsGo the onus is not on you to work to understand why he did it. The onus is on him to explain it to you in as thoughtful a way as possible, and do everything he can to win your forgiveness.

What he said put full responsibility on you and seems to underline the fact that he had no real impetus to spend time with you; that it was up to you to request that he do so.

And you said, "I realise you never loved me enough," That's a heart-breaking statement. He should have responded be telling you how much he loves you and always has. The fact that he reduced the exchange to your lack of 'do this and do that' is understandably deeply upsetting.

EggyFucker Tue 26-Mar-13 23:58:10

Red, I find your apologies for infidelity unhelpful, so we are square

badinage Wed 27-Mar-13 00:01:13

Ignore any victim-blaming or any posts that suggest he was entitled to do this because you'd 'grown apart'.

Okay, tell us what he's done in the past few weeks.

Booked a therapist for himself?

Read any books and bought them himself?

Seen that this was just another flavour of the selfish behaviour that went before, where you were left on your own to bring up the kids and run the house?

Perhaps you were in shock and that explains your calm.

Remember you can still ask him to leave while you consider your position.

izzyizin Wed 27-Mar-13 00:04:14

You sound like a supplicant at the altar of a bean counter who's too preoccupied with indulging themselves balancing the books to bother balancing their home/family life.

Does he still work with the ow?

You've told him to sleep in the spare room tonight and tomorrow you can tell him to pack his bags and go sleep in a spare room in another building. That might serve to concentrate his mind on matters other than his precious 'work' but, if not, divorce his insensitive arse on the grounds of his wholly unreasonable behaviour.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 27-Mar-13 05:57:02

I also think that, when you're presented with shock news like this, you need some time to yourself to let it sink in... preferably without the influence of the other person muddying the waters. So I'd suggest you ask him to leave for a while so that you can decide how you feel.

At the moment it's all conveniently your fault for being understanding and allowing him enough rope to hang himself..... Not the attitude of a sorry man.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 27-Mar-13 08:43:14

Get Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends.

Cheating is ALL about the cheater's issues and flaws.

He needs to be begging for your forgiveness and doing everything he can to help you recover. He needs to be taking a long hard look at HIMSELF to find out what made him betray you - and address these issues and flaws.

bobbywash Wed 27-Mar-13 08:44:58

quick male perspective.

He is obviously a bloke who get his self esteem from his job, I work with a few of those, it's all about being seen to be Alpha in the workplace, I'm not attempting to justify an affair in any way, but the male ego is so simple, that somone who admires him for what he does in his workplace as opposed to someone who doesn't in his psyche minimises his actions.

I don't think it would have mattered to him if you had said I want to do this or that, unless it's a competative hobby that you both can do. However, I'm also not sure what else someone with his seeming ego could say to account for his work habits etc. To him it's an excuse that you don't demand to do things for him to be at work all the time, and to have work take up his life, nothing more than that.

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 08:56:31

Thank you all. It's really helpful. I promise I am not as weak as I might seem. I'm just of the opinion that marriage is something we have committed to try and fix if we can. Not sure his vows have been at the forefront of his mind though! It's hard to accept that he may just not care enough to do anything about it.

Based on what I've said here and some of your replies I wrote him an email listing all the the things I was doing to try and help and asking why it was all me. I think he got the point and now I am withdrawing a bit. I have been quite distant with him this morning as I feel like I need to take control a it more.

He's looking to rent a flat nearer his work. As he stays away so much anyway it won't really impact the kids much hopefully, they just accept he's at work.

I have the Glass book. One of my points to him was 'why was it me buying the book? Why is it still on my bedside table?'. He's looked at it a bit, though I can't help but think if he really wanted to to make amends he would be studying it. He has himself identified he is at the 'ambivalence' stage. At least he's finally being honest!

AuntieStella Wed 27-Mar-13 08:56:33

If he was dissatisfied in the marriage (which he might have been) then his role was to take equal responsibility in fixing it. Or if that unhappy, ending it cleanly. The responsibility for turingto a third party was all his, and nothing you could have done since he made the choice to be unfaithful would have helped. He took your unquestioning support as justification to be selfish.

You need to take a close look at whether you wantto be married to someone like this. Now, it might be that you like him and have a long enough shared history that you think a reconciliation possible. But you need to reach this decision for yourself. And he needs to be equally committed to it.

Has he severed contact with OW? Will he leave this job for a fresh start somewhere where he will not be encountering her at work?

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 27-Mar-13 09:02:27

If he is at the ambivalence stage and isn't bothered about reading the book, then why are you with him?

Stop being his counsellor, take control and tell him you deserve love and respect and that he has to take that flat he was talking about. I hope you are not servicing him domestically (or sexually) - no washing, cooking, shopping etc.

Then focus on yourself - hobbies, interests, work, training etc.

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 09:03:31

His affair ended when she got pregnant by her husband (she wanted a baby). The irony is she was a career girl he admired and respected (like I used to be) and now she's a full-time mum too. She turned into me...what a disappointment for him. He has also left the company.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 09:20:17

I simply would not give someone who was "ambivalent" about our relationship any house room, nor any head space

Get him out, and stop feeding his ego with "discussions"

If,and only if, he came back on bended knee would he get any consideration from me and it would be a cold day in hell before there was any domestic servicing going on for a very long time

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 09:32:52

I am beginning to think that you and he are right. I have to shut him out a bit. He seems to want that too, either to have a proper consequence for his actions (maybe he's seeking punishment, I don't know) or because he knows that's how he can think more clearly. I don't like playing games, but I have noticed that as soon as I become distant he tries harder to engage.

It's a bit tricky because he stays away in the week it won't make a great deal of difference. I suppose I could stop being his (only) friend- just be polite on the phone and pass him over to the kids.

Like I say, I don't like playing games, but maybe I should try and see it as self-preservation instead?

AuntieStella Wed 27-Mar-13 09:37:36

You would only be playing games if you were blowing hot and cold for effect.

You won't be. You'll be (rightly) recognising that the discovery of an affair is a crisis, and that it is important to take the time to process the information and make decisions about your future when you are ready to do so. And that might take weeks/months.

You need to look after yourself, and consider all options carefully. This is usually best done without a wandering spouse hanging round. Separation doesn't have to be final - you can make whatever decision you think is in your family's best interests.

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 09:42:59

That makes sense.

It's a bit scary. What if I detach myself then come to realise I don't care? Then it could all be over and I can't help but see that as a dismal failure sad

AuntieStella Wed 27-Mar-13 09:47:32

You can't second guess your decision. These are the things you need the time and space to work through.

One thing I would point out now though is that his flaws do not make you a failure.

You may have recognised dissatisfactions in the marriage (and I bet you'll see them with a different focus now), but you weren't the one who just bailed out, were you? And you were dealing with a limited and flawed man who was simply not was committed to the marriage as you.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 09:48:25

What?? You are making yourself stay so engaged in case you come to your senses?

Do you realise how fucked up that sounds?

You are also giving your h too much credit. He wants you to back off for his sake, not yours

DHtotalnob Wed 27-Mar-13 09:48:44

Hang on, are you married to my husband? It's a bit spooky to read your story, and further goes to extract some of the drama from my situation by realising that my circumstances are far from unique.

I don't really have much to add as I'm still working through things in my head, but it might help if you read my thread. It's not too long but I still re-read it regularly, especially the later parts where it became obvious that his idea of fighting to save this is very different to my own.

Lovingfreedom Wed 27-Mar-13 09:50:31

There is so much advice out there to keep communicating. But this is ludicrous when you are dealing with a liar and a manipulator of situations. Yes - stop being his only friend...and let him spend some time wondering and working out what's going on. His affair is not about something you did or didn't's about his actions. Read your last comment - even here you're still putting him first...and you have to promote yourself to that first place.

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 10:50:07

DHtotalnob, I'm not sure if it's better or worse to be part of a tired old cliche! I read your thread- what's your situation now? I would like to either rewind time to stop all this crap happening in the first place, or fast forward to a point when it's all resolved one way or another.

I just have to break the habit of thinking about him and his happiness which I've been doing for a year because he was so miserable. Everyone's advice really helps me focus on me instead, thank you x

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 10:51:59

Exactly, Loving, I wasn't exactly first place for him! Second after work for a long time, then relegated to third. Nice.

LemonPeculiarJones Wed 27-Mar-13 10:53:06

He's looking to rent a flat near to work and feels ambivalent. He is already checking out of the relationship. Let the fucker go.

This is not your failure. It's his failure to be a decent human being.

Sounds like he's doing eff all to mend this, to reach out, to try to connect emotionally.

Please respect yourself and focus on the reality of who he is now.

It's horrendously hard but you can have a fantastic future on your own terms, and with someone new (should you so wish it) who won't fuck around behind your back - someone who responds to you emotionally.

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 11:07:45

I know Lemon, and this thread is gradually helping me to realise this. But it's really scary.

I am very lucky in most ways: I have lots of good friends nearby, two beautiful little boys, a loving and supportive family, and he will I know give me plenty of money. We even have another, smaller house where I can live. At least I have choices and I'm not alone...

AuntieStella Wed 27-Mar-13 11:09:05

Another thing to think about: when the affair ended, did you notice anything different about him? Did he recommit to the marriage and put noticeably more energy not spending his non-working time with you all as a full participant in the family?

I suspect not. Which means the "permission" (and consequent withdrawal from the marriage and family) remained in place.

LemonPeculiarJones Wed 27-Mar-13 11:25:11

Glad the thread is helping LetsGo and that you have strong support structures in place. smile

Still horribly scary though I understand. Keep posting and working it through in your own mind. You deserve so much better than this.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 11:53:48

OP, other than what he tells you (and look where that has ended up...) what evidence do you have that this affair is over, that OW is pg, and that if she is, the baby is not your H's ?

The man is a liar. I am not sure why you are taking everything he says at face value.

countingto10 Wed 27-Mar-13 11:58:50

In the words of good, old Dr Phil, you are either in the marriage or out of it, no halfway house, no room for ambivalence. He found the time to arrange to meet and shag OW etc, etc. this was one of the things that upset me about my DH's affair, he was always too busy at work to take me to lunch, leave early to have time with the DCs etc, but somehow in his busy schedule found time to text, take out to lunch/dinner/shag OW hmm. It's all about their priorities, self entitlement, arrogance etc nothing to do with you.

One of the things that made me realise that DH did want to fix things was that he (after discovery of the affair) reassessed everything, booked the babysitters and restaurants, booked the family holidays etc ie he put in the time and effort to do these things and did not expect me too.

You need to put yourself first now, let him navel gaze and get on with your life, and consult a solicitor if you haven't already done so (it will make you feel more in control).

Good luck.

musicismylife Wed 27-Mar-13 12:02:46

I am sorry that you are going through this, OP. I haven't read all of the thread but I do know that men seem to have different 'timelines' to women. what I mean is that if this happened a year ago, in his head it is dead and buried but as you have only just found out, it is all new to you.

I am wondering whether that has anything to do with his frustration and seemingly non-commital answers.

I don't condone his behaviour, by the way.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 27-Mar-13 12:07:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

badinage Wed 27-Mar-13 12:15:24

If the affair ended a year ago and he's been miserable for that year, it sounds like she dumped him when she got pregnant. That also explains his ambivalence towards you.

There are no positive signs here at all and what you need most of all I think is a chance to assess whether you'd prefer life on your own, properly separated from him. In practical and even emotional terms, it doesn't sound as though there will be too many losses for you if you end the relationship. But telling yourself that you're single and independent and actually being those things will make a world of difference to your own emotional health and your future life.

I think this is what he wants to happen too, but he wants you to be the one to do it.

Helltotheno Wed 27-Mar-13 13:45:37

What if I detach myself then come to realise I don't care?

OP I suspect that despite all the theorising, the self-help books, the vain attempts to elicit the textbook 'I'll do anything to get you back' reaction from him, underneath it all you're not gutted and it's more about the public perception that you've failed? If you can make sense of the above, could that be true?

You know it's over don't you? Don't waste your time trying to get him to react the way you think he should be reacting, it isn't going to happen. This marriage is not his priority.

Now that he's moving during the week, it's easy, just tell him you want to formalise it. badinage is right: the actual formality of making the split official and being your own person will be great for you. It's the right thing...

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 17:23:33


You might be right. I think 'But I'll be a single mum who failed at her marriage', 'I'd have to tell the neighbours, explain to an estate agent...', 'when I go back home all the people I knew at school would judge me'.

I know it shouldn't matter, and it won't once I get used to the idea.

badinage Wed 27-Mar-13 17:29:44

Er, you didn't fail.

He failed you.

Out of all the people you knew at school, the same thing will have happened to some of them, another bunch will have had affairs themselves, some of them will be in unhappy marriages and the ones who got lucky will have nothing but sympathy for you. Anyone who would 'judge' you for someone else's shitty behaviour really isn't worth headspace or oxygen.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 17:30:18

Are you sure you not projecting your own pre judgements about single mums onto your own situation ? hmm

You know this isn't a good marriage. Staying so you won't be "judged" is ridiculous, and is akin to martyring yourself

Nobody really cares, you know. So there might be a bit of gossip. Tomorrow it'll be someone else in the firing line and your news will just be metaphorical chip wrappers

LetsGoToTheHills Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:32

badinage, you are right.

Eggy yes I am, I am working on being less judgmental!

I feel I have really come a long way in 24 hours, thanks to everyone's wise and (sometimes brutally!) honest comments.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 18:29:15

Yes, you have come a long way

Sorry to not acknowledge that fact x

badinage Wed 27-Mar-13 20:25:23

You know love, if he was doing all the right things and was showing he was truly sorry and wanted to repair the damage that he caused to himself, to you and your marriage, then my advice would be completely different. I do think couples can come back after affairs and have seen them do it.

But if there's any sniff of ambivalence or if the OW/OM has done the dumping, I don't think it ever works. I also think it's more unlikely to work if there were seemingly intractable problems even before the affair, like your husband checking out of family life for years beforehand.

You have come a long way if it's only been a few weeks. I can really understand the initial instinct to want to keep everything the same and save the marriage when these things happen. But it's really valuable to question why you're doing that and to realise that actually you don't have to. It also takes some insight to realise that even if you want to save the marriage, it's going to be impossible because you'd be doing it on your own.

maleview70 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:43:15

When a man has checked out of his marriage you probably don't even rank 3rd in his list of priorities.

You just become the mother of his children.

Sometimes you have to accept that the relationship you have is not going to work and you have to work out the best way of finding a way out.

LetsGoToTheHills Thu 28-Mar-13 08:39:52

badinage, you have summed it all up perfectly, I think
maleview, I am beginning to realise this is the situation- the only compliment he has paid me for years (to his sort of credit, very often) has been "you're a wonderful mother"

onefewernow Thu 28-Mar-13 09:29:46

That doesn't surprise me. He already made that clear when he felt entitled to work all those hours.

He has issues in himself which are not about what you are or are not. This would have happened with anyone he married.

You are for child raising and family events. The OW was for sex and fun.

He doesn't see this, and won't, so he can't address it.

My h has not been prefect coming back from his infidelity. But funnily enough the first thing he did was give up the workaholism, and to stop pretending that "it just has to be done".

In fact he now admits he used it as a cover to chase admiration, because he craved attention and also sometimes to cover his fun with OW.

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Thu 28-Mar-13 17:07:06

im a single mum who failed at her marriage!!! tell u what tho. i am haapy. NOW.

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Thu 28-Mar-13 17:12:23

you are more than a mother, wonderful or otherwise.

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Thu 28-Mar-13 17:18:15

i think sometimes married women on mn think that pisters like me say ltb out of a desire to have more losers on our team. i just want unhappy people to realise they will feel less alone when they are on their own. i wouldnt go vack for all the tea in china. and i wasnt a financially sorted as u would be. by the sounds of it u r "single" mon -fri anyway. and if u know he wont be controlling over maintenance then honestly being a single mum is not the end of the world. i prefer it to thevpist children years iykwim.

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Thu 28-Mar-13 17:19:15

pissters!? well! ok. when u see a solicitor crack open the prosecco

Betrayed40 Thu 04-Jul-13 14:25:17

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CashmereHoodlum Thu 04-Jul-13 14:29:02

Oh FFS. Men are simple creatures hmm Like molluscs.

Jan45 Thu 04-Jul-13 14:32:38

It's 2 and a half weeks since you discovered the affair and you haven't thrown him out yet????

A workaholic who still has time for extra marital affairs.

Sorry but you can't fix the marriage now, the marriage was destroyed by him when he broke the oath to never cheat.

What exactly is he baffled about? I'm baffled he is still there.

Sorry but if you give the green light to be treated with the utmost contempt, that's what you will get.

And by the way, under the circumstances, he deserves f all.

LisaMed Thu 04-Jul-13 14:36:34

Jan45 - the thread is quite old but Betrayed40 is going through all the old threads about affairs and is posting a fairly saccharine post with her website in it. I've counted around six similar posts so far, but could be wrong. hth

meditrina Thu 04-Jul-13 14:38:38

This is a thread from March which has been reactivated by another poster.

OP: if you see this, I hope you're doing OK.

CashmereHoodlum Thu 04-Jul-13 14:38:57

She is just bumping loads of old threads to promote her piss-poor relationship advice, and in the process is stopping people who need advice and support now from getting it. What a kind-hearted individual.

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