Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I Think I destroyed my marriage.

(112 Posts)
SomuchHurt Fri 29-Mar-13 21:01:50

I have namechanged for this.

Early in our relationship my DH and I drew up a bucket list of things that we would do, or consider doing together. One of the things on that list was that I was curious about experimenting with another woman. We were both a little unsure if this was a good idea and we never followed it up together. I however ended up having an affair with another woman a while after this. I never spoke of the affair afterwards.

Move forward another 12 years and DH found the list in a drawer and we were looking through it together and having a few drinks. DH points to the part of the list that mentions another woman and asks if I remember that one. In my drunken stupidity I blurted out that I didn't need to think about that one as I had already done that. DH looks shocked and asks when exactly I had done anything with another woman and it all came out about the affair. DH is gutted and says he will never be able to look at me the same again, and that I have destroyed any and all trust we had. I have tried to talk to him and apologize but he is just so angry with me. He says that if I had wanted to go with someone else I should have just left him then before we had children. I tried to reason with him and explain that it was different and just experimenting, but he says that I'm still a cheat and he wont forgive that. He also said that he feels I robbed him of being able to experience that as a couple together and also robbed him of our marriage.

I need help to fix this because I just don't know what to say to him now. He is still the love of my life and the only one I want to be with. But I have hurt him so badly and don't want to lose him.

Xales Fri 29-Mar-13 21:11:18

If you are going to explain it away as different and 'just' experimenting you are not accepting what you did and are down playing it and your apologies are coming with meaningless buts...

You are a cheat and you have massively betrayed him as such he is entitled to review his relationship with you. All you can do is be honest and open, not try and write it off as 'just' something and hope that he decides to stay with you.

I don't think you have robbed him of that as a couple, as I think a 3 some is completely different to what you did.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 29-Mar-13 21:16:50

Cheating is cheating whether it's a man or woman. If your husband had, had an affair with another man would you see it as experimenting?

I think you need to let your dh have some space then you need to be completely honest with him you don't "experiment" just out of curiosity there is usually and underlying reason.

I think for your dh the amount of time you kept it to yourself is more of a betrayal than the actual affair- it would be for me.

noisytoys Fri 29-Mar-13 21:16:53

You cheated on him. No difference if it is a woman or a man. He has been betrayed and is hurt it will take time if he can learn to trust you again

tribpot Fri 29-Mar-13 21:19:33

Surely everything he has said is true? WTF does it matter if it was 'just' experimenting? I'm assuming the difference if you'd experienced it as a couple was not necessarily a threesome but the fact he would have known about it and sanctioned it as part of your joint sexual adventure. Instead it was just cheating, like all other cheating.

I suppose one of the worst things from his point of view is that you've told him when you had no earthly reason to do so. That must seem exceptionally cruel.

You need to take a very hard look at yourself.

SomuchHurt Fri 29-Mar-13 21:32:16

I know I have hurt him. All I want now is to find a way past all this. I love my husband with all my heart. And I really am so sorry for what I did.

I know he has a right to be hurt but I have been totally faithful for 12 years. It seems stupid to throw 12 good years away. I have told him I will do anything to try and fix this

AuntieStella Fri 29-Mar-13 21:32:58

Never mind all the bucket list stuff.

What this boils down to is that you had an affair; your DH has just found out and, because this isn't old stuff to him but new and painful information, he is devastated, and questioning everything about you and the marriage he thought he had.

Discovery of an affair, and the capability of deceit in a partner is a crisis. You have to face up to the fact that it was solely of your doing and your choices are your responsibility.

If you want to reconcile, you need to own up fully, be utterly repentant, take full responsibility and do whatever he thinks is necessary to help him process the new information and decide if he can see a way ahead together. Your actions in the immediate aftermath can assist or scupper your chances of reconciliation.

I suggest you read Linda MacDonald's 'How to heal your spouse from your affair' as a starting point.

AuntieStella Fri 29-Mar-13 21:35:48
Timetoask Fri 29-Mar-13 21:36:38

Yes, I think you have destroyed your marriage indeed.
I am sorry to say I wouldn't trust you ever again.
Maybpbe you should ask your DH what can you do to regain his trust?

KoPo Fri 29-Mar-13 21:43:41

www.umass.edu/fambiz/articles/resolving_conflict/meaningful_apology.html

Your sorry need to be sincere and with no buts and maybe. You need to stop hiding things from him and be prepared to answer any questions he may have with unflinching honesty. No hiding things to attempt to spare his feelings because any deception he senses will undo any progress yo may have made.

I also think you need to face the possibility of losing him. If I was in his position I would be very unlikely to forgive. From his perspective the last 12 years of his marriage have been built of lies and are a sham.

For you I have not a shred of sympathy at all, all my wishes are for the man you have destroyed inside. HE deserves better than that!

SomuchHurt Fri 29-Mar-13 22:53:52

DH has asked me to go somewhere else for a few days to give him space. He is taking the DC's to his mothers for Easter.

Im really scared I'm going to lose him.

AuntieStella Fri 29-Mar-13 23:01:14

He does need time and space to get his mind round this.

Remember, as far as he's concerned, this happened yesterday and has come as a bolt from the blue. He is in shock, and it's not possible to predict when he will emerge - but it could easily take weeks or even months to begin to think straight. The only thing you can reasonably hope for is that he doesn't make final decisions until he has got through the initial stages of devastation.

When will you next have the chance to sit down and talk to him? You need to think of what you want to say, and what impact that will have on him.

EllaFitzgerald Fri 29-Mar-13 23:10:01

Perhaps the apology didn't sound particularly genuine if it was followed by you trying to explain to him that it wasn't really cheating because you were "experimenting". I hope for your sake that he finds a way to forgive you and that you manage to save your marriage, but I'm really struggling to have much sympathy for you as you sound more sorry that he found out than sorry that you cheated.

BoringTheBuilder Fri 29-Mar-13 23:14:36

Why did you decide to have an affair instead of doing the 3some or even letting you watch you with other person?

QuintEggSensuality Fri 29-Mar-13 23:16:08

Any affair is "experimenting", experimenting to see if another person is a better bet than the one you are with. It does not matter if it is with a man or a woman. It is totally and utterly besides the point. It does not matter that you chose to stay with him. If you are bisexual, which you clearly are, then you have the capacity to love both genders. When you married, you chose a PERSON, not a GENDER. You betrayed that person. You lied to him and deceived him, and you continued to do this for 12 years.

Your relationship has lost its foundations. You did your bucket list together. He was unsure how he felt about you having sex with a woman. So you went ahead behind his back. This means the betrayal is twofold.

You need to give him space. You were extremely selfish and stupid.

Flojobunny Fri 29-Mar-13 23:21:25

OP you don't seem to be seeing what you have done. You sound very self pitying. YOU love him, YOU don't want to lose him etc etc. What about what your DH needs right now? What about his feelings? It isn't 12 good yrs at all. It's 12 yrs of you keeping such a horrid secret from him. You cheated on him and spent 12 yrs looking him in the eye knowing that.
Give him the space he needs. Don't try and stop him and don't try and pressure him.

Smellslikecatspee Fri 29-Mar-13 23:23:07

Sorry but you have not been totally faithful for 12 years, you have lied by omission every day, and if I were your husband it would be that which would be killing me.

You've dealt with this and moved on, he's just found out, he's in shock and hurting and questioning everything you've said in the last 12 years.

At this point there really is nothing you can do except be totally honest and respect his choices and actions.

TBH your OP reads as though you don't really consider what you did as cheating. How would you feel if he revealed that he had slept with another man?

QuintEggSensuality Fri 29-Mar-13 23:24:35

It is not just the affair. It is the deception. He will never be able to trust you again. He will not know what else you have lied about.

ZZZenEggain Fri 29-Mar-13 23:28:46

why on earth did you say it? It's knowing you were intimate with this woman and then coming home to him and acting as if nothing had happened. He feels hurt, he feels you took the piss, he doesn't feel respected, he feels like scales have dropped from his eyes and you are not who he thinks you were.

Some people get past it but he might not

KoPo Fri 29-Mar-13 23:38:24

OP I think you have been given a pretty easy time on here. I don't think a man would have had things put so very calmly and kindly on here.

YOU! decided to have your cake and eat it elsewhere not him. YOU! lied to him for 12 years. YOU! have destroyed the very foundations of the marriage. And YOU! still seem to be trying to sweep this aside and hoping to carry right on as you were.

I Have a question for you. Did the person you cheated on your poor DH with know you were married at the start?

Every touch, hug and each and every time you had sex in the last 12 years will feel like a deception to you DH right now. His self esteem is probably rock bottom right now and still it sounds like he is acting with dignity (if I'm reading between the lines correctly). In his position I would be seeing a solicitor as soon as possible with a view to ending this sham of a marriage. I use the term marriage in the last sentence because for me the relationship ended when you dropped that bombshell on him.

Do stop the self pity and do the honest thing and let him call the shots. You at least owe him that.

badinage Fri 29-Mar-13 23:38:41

I expect you've fallen for the myth that sex with a woman isn't really infidelity, or that a man wouldn't see it as such.

But from your husband's point of view, the lies, deceit and covering it all up for 12 years are as painful if not more than the infidelity itself. Much like he would have felt if this had been another man.

Stop minimising what you've done or making excuses for it. Give him some breathing space and when you talk to him again about it, continue to offer him space away from you and make a sincere and full apology. He's in shock and so are you. Now probably isn't the time for either of you to be making decisions yet.

QuintEggSensuality Fri 29-Mar-13 23:40:09

And you boasted about it, drunk.

hmm

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 29-Mar-13 23:49:14

You can't break someone's heart and then 'try and reason' with them.

You can't make him forgive you or trust you or take you back but giving an actual sincere apology without any bullshit 'I was experimenting' qualifiers on it would be a good start.

I find it fairly insulting that you consider an affair with a woman to be so insignificant that it should be totally irrelevant to your heterosexual relationship, but that isn't really the problem here, just something to consider if you move forward with a new relationship in the future.

CandlestickOlder Sat 30-Mar-13 00:14:11

If your DH was posting on here everyone would be telling him to LTB.

Sometimes good people do bad things. If you want to save your marriage you need to work your arse off.

Verbalpunchbag Sat 30-Mar-13 00:39:30

Op says she has been faithful for the past 12 years and it would be stupid to throw that away. Problem is the trust has gone and her husband will be wondering just what else has gone on that he doesn't know about.

garlicbrunch Sat 30-Mar-13 02:36:55

YY, SoMuch, your husband has just found out that ALL of those 12 years together were founded on a lie. How do you think he feels??

Yes, I imagine he does need some time to lick his wounds without you telling him what to think or feel. Respect his pain, at least, and let him have some space.

I urgently recommend you read Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. The gender of your affair partner is immaterial. When H is ready to talk, invite him to read it too.

Get the book, start reading, keep posting.

Tortington Sat 30-Mar-13 02:43:11

the best way to see if something you have done is unreasonable is to turn it on its head.

If your dh had admitted an affair 12 years ago - would you be gutted?

I would

garlicbrunch Sat 30-Mar-13 02:47:36

The way you've tried to depersonalise your affair partner as "just an experiment" is coming across as very unpleasant. It makes me feel the way I feel when a man says he "only" went with prostitutes so it wasn't cheating. Your husband probably doesn't feel that great about being married to a woman who sees another human as a shagpiece! I tend to think you need some time to reflect, as well. Will you be able to get any time away from DC over the holiday? If you can, take it. Use it to look back at your actions & attitudes with clarity.

AuntieStella Sat 30-Mar-13 10:25:30

It's fairly typical of adulterers to seek to minimise what they have done ("only experimenting") and to think that a prolonged period of non-discovery makes everything that happened during that period 'counts' in their favour.

It doesn't. His timeline started at moment of discovery, and the 12 years are years of deception. It's ground zero for him, and he's doing exactly the right thing for him by finding time and space to be away from OP and with RL support.

OP can only stand a chance of convincing him she is worth a chance at reconciliation if she stops minimising and deflecting, and truly owns up.

As well as the various bits of recommended reading linked on this thread, it might help her comprehend the devastating effect this has on the faithful partner by looking at the Relationships board where there are all too many accounts from the perspective of the betrayed partner. Trust, once gone, is hard to restore and may take a lifetime. And not that many betrayed partners ever feel strong enough to give reconciliations a chance (it is the harder decision to make and live up to).

The marriage as it was, OP, is irretrievably gone. Whether anything can be built between you again isn't going to be your choice.

Dahlen Sat 30-Mar-13 11:02:18

No one knows if your marriage will overcome this; only time will tell. You can't make it got the way you want, but you can take some steps to help your case - even with the knowledge that there are no guarantees.

Research suggests that men find it much harder to forgive infidelity than women. However, in most cases that will be with another man than another woman of course. It's not a scientific study, but among my social circle most men have said they'd find it easier to forgive a same-sex affair because it doesn't question their masculinity in the same sense. I guess that's the perspective you're coming from - that it doesn't feel quite the same.

However, you have to give your DH time to reach that conclusion for himself (if he ever does, as some will not). The biggest favour you do yourself (and him) is to give him the time to do that without pressurising him. Make absolutely no excuses, and take full responsibility. Just keep apologising for the hurt you've caused.

Right now, he's reeling. Once he's had time to absorb things, you'll have a much better idea. At least he's spared the usual pain of having to undergo STD tests, wondering if the affair is 'really' over, whether you still love him, etc. You have 12 years post the affair to demonstrate all that already, and it will help even if right now to him it all feels like 12 years of acting on your part.

You can't do anything other than wait patiently.

SomuchHurt Sat 30-Mar-13 20:47:51

I went back home this morning to pick up some things. DH was there and I told him that I would like us to come through this. And that I would do whatever he needed me to do.

He told me that there was no us from the moment I cheated, but it took him 12 years to know that. And all he wants me to do is leave. He has stated that he will never trust me or want me again, and that the only thing we have in common is the DC's. He has said that he won't try and stop me from sharing custody of the children for their sakes but we are done.

BoringTheBuilder Sat 30-Mar-13 20:50:17

Hope you are ok OP. Where are you staying? Didn't he take the children to his mother's?

lemonstartree Sat 30-Mar-13 20:59:05

Oh dear... :-( I'm very very sorry to hear that OP. Remember that right now he is devastated and feeling very angry. It may not always be so clear cut. For now, all you can do is be honest when he has questions, be open, apologise and accept responsibility.

If I discovered that my DP had had sex / a relationship with a man (or a woman) during the time we had been together - it would negate EVERYTHING we have done and been to one another since then. ALL of that love and sex and planning and closeness would have been built on a lie, Every memory would be tainted, disgusting to me. Do you understand this ? Really understand what it means ?

Then give him the space , do as he asks. Make plans as to how you think you can mange apart, respect him. Show by your actions you are sorry. Words are meaningless. Be honest and brave.

I wish you luck. Its a high price to pay for a stupid admission. But you know, don't you that the price you are paying s for the affair.. not the discovery ?

SomuchHurt Sat 30-Mar-13 21:00:46

The DC's are at his mums over the weekend I think he came home to do something. I am staying with my sister for the time being. I'm far from alright but there is very little I can do right now. I just wish I could turn back the clock by just over 12 years.

lemonstartree Sat 30-Mar-13 21:06:20

I do feel for you. Its devastating to face the consequences of your actions so far down the line sad

KoPo Sat 30-Mar-13 21:06:22

So the affair has cost you the real price of deception?

I cant say as I'm surprised by his reactions as I think I would be reacting in a similar way. You have destroyed the foundations of something he held dear and that hurts.

I wish you the best but I don't feel sorry for you. I do however feel very sorry for your DH and your children.

BoringTheBuilder Sat 30-Mar-13 21:35:09

Write him letters?

notnagging Sat 30-Mar-13 21:48:54

He's right, your wrong. You should sound sorry for your marriage, not yourself.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sat 30-Mar-13 22:01:24

Unless you've been on the 'receiving' end of adultery, you cannot even begin to understand how it feels. Get the Linda McDonald and Shirley Glass books referred to upthread and read them from cover to cover. When you truly understand what you've done, you might have a chance of making an attempt at helping your husband.

At the moment you sound clueless.

badinage Sat 30-Mar-13 22:24:22

Althought it's true that some people just know that they would never forgive this, I suspect this is mostly shock talking on his part. I think because you minimised it so much at the start, he wants to give you a bit of a proverbial bloody nose to shock you into taking this seriously and cutting the crap.

I don't agree that the past 12 years have been 'a lie' or any years that preceded this affair. Although I accept that people who are on the receiving end of affairs might think that, it isn't a very logical deduction. I can see how the period an affair is ongoing makes the spouse's life a lie, but if he's been happy with you before and since that does count for quite a lot.

Hopefully he'll see that in time, but you're going to have to work your butt off to convince him that he is all you want and that you're truly sorry for his pain. I don't think there's much point saying right now that you're sorry for the affair itself, because that would seem unconvincing given that you evidently haven't been full of regret and self-recrimination for the past 12 years and he knows that from your initial minimising reaction. Be truthful to yourself as well as him. You're sorry right now that he knows and that he's in pain. In time you might be sorry for what you did.

Respect his need for space and to lick his wounds. Encourage him to discuss this with someone who can help him heal, accepting that you're just not the right person to fill that role right now.

Take heart. I know a few couples who've survived an affair and they are stronger than ever now, but the key to this in all of their stories has been that the ones who cheated sorted out their shit and took full responsibility for it. They also saw their infidelity in the bigger context of their core selfishness and went about changing that behaviour.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sat 30-Mar-13 22:39:41

And even then, with all that sorryness and good work done, it's not always possible for the cheated on person to move past it, no matter how very much they might want to do that.

Have to say, in your DP's shoes, I would react in the exact same way. And I wouldn't take you back, no matter what.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 31-Mar-13 09:29:52

You really really really went about it the wrong way.

Minimusing a mistake is just digging a bigger hole - it means you're focused on yourself and not on the hurt you've inflicted in another.

Whats done is done now. He deserves space, and you to let him take the lead.

However, I will add a caveat to that: there is a difference between a hurt party workibg through their feelings and expecting the perpetrator to take responsibility for their actions and a hurt party doing whatever the fuck they like to get back at the person who has done wrong. The comment about the children made me feel a little uneasy. There are limits to exactly how "sorry" you should be.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 09:35:34

Did you expect him to be less bothered because you betrayed him with a woman and not a man?

Betrayal is betrayal.
Lies are lies.

All he knows is that for 12 years you have looked him in the eye, day after day, knowing what you did. And then you spill it out in some casual way like it's no big deal cos no cock was involved. You miss the point.

I think the very least you owe him at this point is to respect his feelings and his wishes now.

And stop talking/thinking/acting like he is 'throwing 12 good years away'. That's really offensive to him. He isn't throwing 12 years away. Your actions led to this.

AuntieStella Sun 31-Mar-13 09:36:25

Feeling that even the conception of your children was done during a period of deception is a cry of pain, not an expression of feelings about the children.

And, OP, you will need to start thinking about how you will live if separated.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 31-Mar-13 09:48:45

Auntiestella - I was specifically referencing the comment anout him not trying to stop her having 50/50 custody for the children's sake....

Its early days, he's beyond raw and rightly so...but, having witnessed what can happen when a hurt paety takes their retribution way too far and taking advantahe of the perpertrator's willingness to do anything to please the hurt party, I feel its only prudent to say that there are, indeed, limits to making amends. Allowing children to be used as weapons is way beyond making amends.

Right now, he's in shock, reeling...his life for the past 12 years has been a complete lie and to adf insult to injury the person he loves, adores, trusted with all of his heart, doesnt think its that big of a deal and is basically laying blame at his dorf for what amounts, in her mind, to him overreactibg: the OP does truly and entirely miss the point....

Hiwever, once the dust has settled and his path and her path become clearer its worth ponting out that revenge is not ok.

I think you need a big dose of get over yourself.

Let's be very clear here. You shagged outside your marriage. How much sympathy do you think that will garner?

Not only that, you drunkenly blurted it out and then tried to say it wasn't 'really' cheating because it was a woman.

I'm sure your dh is more interested in the fact that you were sleeping with someone else and then lying about it, than the gender of the person you cheated with.

Maybe he'll forgive you. But you probably don't deserve him to. Until you take responsibility for what you did, you shouldn't even have the audacity to ask him to come through it.

Babybeesmama Sun 31-Mar-13 10:08:55

I'm going to go against the grain and send you a virtual hug op! thanks You are the one posting on here not DH & you need some support. Yes you did something very wrong & it is your fault but your life has been turned upside down. I don't think there's much you can do but respect his wishes now. Sadly the truth always outs eventually. X

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 31-Mar-13 10:45:23

But she is getting support. She's not being told to eff off, she's being given solid and practical advice.
OP - seriously, get those books.

Scrabbleyurt Sun 31-Mar-13 11:17:48

I want to send you some support too. People make mistakes and I can tell how devastated you are. I hope you have some real life support to get through this, whatever your husband decides. Take care.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sun 31-Mar-13 12:02:08

I agree with badinage.
Hopefully once he's got over the shock he will appreciate what is at stake.

TDada Sun 31-Mar-13 12:05:13

you cheated which is far from great....my sympathy comes from the fact that it is long ago and that you you and DH had discussed this as one of your list of lifetime adventures which might have been at the back of your mind....i am not excusing you but sympathising as you sound genuinely sorry.

AuntieStella Sun 31-Mar-13 12:05:26

flaminhoopsaloolah sorry I thought you meant the bit in OP, not the 50/50 custody. That's a normal start point in custody negotiations, so not necessarily vengeful at all.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 31-Mar-13 12:19:23

I agree, Auntie...could quite possibly be nothing at all remotely near vengeful...it just, from experience,set off my spidey senses. People can do awful tjings if they let anger overtake them...and not knowing hom or the OP I just wanted to put it out thete that once she realises how much she needs to work on what she's done and what she needs to do it could, possibly, open her up to being on the recieving end of wrongful treatment in the name of payback - not an ok sitiation and I just wanted her to knoe that should that happen its ok to defend herself. One shouldnt quite literally have to suffer emotional/psychological/material ruin because someone is angry at them.

OP - keep giving him space, and FGS, no more excusing/mimimising/deflecting/badgering him - that is most certainly the route to alienating him further. Achnowledgement, active listening, and humility is the way forward, whatever ends up happening.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 12:22:04

Look, we can do oh dear, poor you, you poor thing, how awful, he really should forgive you, pat pat hug hug until the cows come home. And she might feel better for a moment.

But then she'll go back to her real life. And her husband will be just as hurt and angry and he won't be pat pat hug hug there there I forgive you.

And she will be oh, but people on the internet didn't think it was so bad...

Whereas what is most helpful to her is for her to see the reality of her betrayal and for her to really see it for what it is. It may not be what she wants to hear, but it's what she needs to hear. People I know will support her in trying to make amends and to move forward. But is it helpful to her to help her to continue to think that it really wasn't so bad and he's being a bit unreasonable because it was, what did she say? 'different and just experimenting'?

Giving him the space he needs. Accepting responsibility. Those things will give her a better chance of reconciliation than reenforcing her belief that really it wasn't so bad and he shouldn't 'throw away' 12 years.

I don't think anyone is lining up to give her a kicking. It's clearly a really painful thing for her.

But if she can look at it differently, she may have more chance of rebuilding.

you cheated on him, you hid it from him and you allowed him to live a lie for 12 years and go ahead and have children with a person he perhaps wouldn't have (or maybe he would have) if he'd known the truth.

that's the reality.

i don't think i would ever see you or my life over the last 12years in the same way again either.

i suspect i might be able to forgive an indiscretion if i was told right away, the person immediately recognised what a stupid thing they'd done and had the decency to tell me and let me know the truth about my own life. if however they lied, hid it and let me carry on choosing them, having children with them etc etc without knowing the truth i'd never forgive them.

this isn't me being harsh or saying you deserve x, y or z but maybe your husband is like me. and flippantly blurting it out drunkenly as if it was no big deal 12 years on would be a total dealbreaker for me.

i really can appreciate how it feels from your side and how much you want it to work etc but i'm afraid my sympathies go to the person cheated on, lied to and allowed to make major life decisions on the basis of a sham - re: believing you were a faithful, honest, decent person who'd never cheat on them.

the thing is the person not telling me would tell me everything i needed to know about how much they actually cared about me, respected me and saw me as a whole human being with the right to autonomy over their life. it would tell me they were a selfish coward who put themselves before me repeatedly and didn't have much of a conscience. if you've been together with someone for 12 years finding out all of that about them in one fell swoop would be pretty fucking devastating.

garlicbrunch Sun 31-Mar-13 13:13:24

I feel sorry for you, too, OP. I'm afraid that, in your husband's shoes, I would feel as SAF described just now. But I did take an ex back after he admitted an historic affair ... people do, and couples do build successful new relationships, together, after such devastating news. I'd just like you to know it's not a given, neither is it easy.

For now, do take care of yourself in the moment. Eat properly, rest enough, and talk as much as you need. Glad you're with your sister.

KoPo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:44:37

Am I the only one sat here wondering how the OP's husband is right now? Is he alright and coping with the total destruction of his feelings and emotions?

I talked about this thread with my own DH (who is himself a mumsnetter) and his view is that for him it would be the end of everything. His view is that if one partner can deceive the other for over a decade then they clearly didnt value that person for the entire time.

SAF - Your post echo's my own feelings on this very well. While I wish the OP no ill will, neither do I feel very sorry for her. She has a roof over her head and is safe enough with her sister, although in her sisters place I would have said a few hash words as well.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 31-Mar-13 19:05:17

KoPo - what makes you believe you're the only one wondering? There's a fair few posts expressing disagreement with the OP's lack of empathy fir what she has done.

If the DH were posting here Im sure he'd get support.

The OP has made it clear what her goal is - to make amends - and many have posted telling her that het current attitude most certainly isnt going to achieve that ( unless DH is a complete and utter push-over) ie people are empathising eith how her DH must be feeling and with that empathy are letting her kniw that minimising his feelings, and even lsying blame at his door, is a sure way to encourage him to feel even less inclined to forgive her. If people are feeling emapthy for his situation then how, ligically, could they not be imagining how he must be feeling?

KoPo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:12:18

flaminhoopsaloolah - Yes that was probably a little unfair of me.

I am a little frustrated with the OP's failing to fully appreciate the damage she has caused and allowed my judgement to get clouded.

SomuchHurt Mon 01-Apr-13 17:24:55

I have been giving DH the space he asked for but he has sent me a text asking what I want from the house and did I want him to sign the other property we own over to me Ho we both have a place to call home an that the DC's will be in places they know.

He sounds so certain about things now. I just wish he would realise how much I love him and how so very sorry I am. He has been so calm in all this but his pain is clear. The worst thing is knowing that I have caused all this. He is blameless and is suffering.

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 17:28:12

I think all you can do is keep reiterating that you will do whatever he needs you to do but your desire is still to repair the marriage. If he wants space, fine.

I think he does know how much you love him and how sorry you are. But you can't erase what you've done. You need to demonstrate very clear remorse and understand his feelings, not just your own.

i would reply saying please let's take some time before making any big decisions.

good that he is being so fair about property and stuff though and if it does come to it then his plan is a good one so you both have secure homes to have the children in.

EdithWeston Mon 01-Apr-13 17:32:33

"I have been giving DH the space he asked for"

You do realise it could take months for him even to begin to think straight when the crisis is of this magnitude?

It's good that you have a roof over each head and can provide stability to the DCs during the period of separation which currently looks inevitable.

It might be worth seeing if you can buy some time by saying that you would prefer to wait until you have both had the chance to take proper advice before proceeding with permanent separation of assets.

botoxschmotox Mon 01-Apr-13 18:05:18

It's encouraging that your DH is being calm, which sounds like he is willing to put the happiness of your children before the pain he is feeling, and it does sound like a workable situation for you all to carry on with your lives.

Who knows what the future holds? Time will tell. In the meantime, continue to respect his wishes and leave him alone. I should imagine as time goes on the depth of your actions will become clearer to you as it does appear that you didn't have much of a grasp on the effects your confession would have. Your OP suggests that you confessed in a somewhat lighhearted and cavalier fashion, assuming that your DH would be ok with it because it wasn't a 'real' affair. Use this time to really understand how you have drawn this conclusion as this is a fundemental issue.

flaminhoopsaloolah Mon 01-Apr-13 18:25:45

I think OP you're just going to have to keep following his lead. He's obviously and rightly devastated. I ser you're in bits - but expecting him to have had his space and be done with that bit is unrealistic. He's doing the best he can under tge circumstances and playing extremely fairly - no man I have ever known except for my father and probably my current partner would have thus far acted with such grace under such painful circumstances. Despite his raw emotions he seems to be treatibg you respectfully - ackniwledging you have financial and material needs that he has no right to try to take from you....you need to extend the same consideration; he has emotional needs, a grieving process that he is going to have to go through that has been foisted upon him by your actions.

SomuchHurt Mon 01-Apr-13 20:03:18

His very kindness and giving nature is one of the things I love about him. In all the time I have known him I have never seen him deliberatly be unfair to anyone. His strength and kindness have made him my rock. And knowing that I have broken that is too much to bear.

But I'm my stupidity I have done exactly that. I tried to follow the advice on here and replied with asking to wait til things settle a bit. But he has said he is not willing to waste even more time with someone who had so little respect.

I really think I have wrecked everything now, and I feel so stupid.

Xales Mon 01-Apr-13 20:10:43

You have had 12 years of knowing this.

He has had a weekend to process that you cheated and lied to him about it for 12 years and that you think it is unimportant and experimentation.

You are telling him you don't want to end it and texting him asking him to wait until emotions are not running so high before making decisions.

That is not respecting him and giving him space to sort his own feelings out, that is pushing your agenda and wants onto him.

tbh i think you have wrecked it.

he sounds like a totally sound, honest, decent, fair human being with high standards for himself and who is even now treating you wonderfully. why would he stay with you?

realistically i think it's over and clearly he won't need to be single for long if he doesn't want to be as he sounds like one of the genuinely good people.

i think you may have to accept it. take the blame -don't start twisting about why it wasn't so bad or it wasn't your fault when you finally realise he isn't having you back and do the best you can for your children and don't get in the way of their relationship with their father.

it's terribly sad that you've blown but yes, i'm afraid you have.

Charbon Mon 01-Apr-13 21:00:11

Give it time.

Your pain and his are so tangible that only someone with a heart of stone couldn't feel humanitarian sadness for the predicament you are in.

His anger has come through very quickly and currently this is what is galvanising him into creating plans and order from the chaos. It might not look like anger, but this is what it is.

In a while he will crash and he will need a lot of comfort from others when that happens. I hope he's getting advice not to make irretrievable decisions just yet. He is in shock and anger - not the best emotions with which to make life-changing decisions.

Be guided by his cues and when you can, tell him what you've told us. How much you love him and specifically why you love him so much.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 01-Apr-13 21:01:14

OP - I think you have little chance of repairing this tbh.
And I know this sounds harsh, but from your posts it sounds as if it's still all about you.

LordLurkin Mon 01-Apr-13 21:45:29

I'm so sorry for your pain OP.
I know you are hurting and so is your husband, but I agree with the posters who are saying that they think its pretty much over. I think many on this thread share my amazement at how decent he has and is being and I hope for both or your sakes that continues. I'm not sure I could be that clear thinking after a shock like that. To be making sure you have a place to call home and wanting as little pain for your children just shows what kind of man he is.

I think you are both going to need a lot of care and support as you go through this. I know this isnt what you wanted but your DH has had his world smashed right now. And as the shock wears off he is going to come down very hard (as are you). Make sure you have plenty of people around you who care. And I hope he has the same.

Good luck OP. I dont envy either of you right now but you need to fully take on board that this was totally your doing.

ZZZenEggain Mon 01-Apr-13 22:23:52

I really wouldn't know what to do in your shoes. It must be very hard for you.

StrangeDays Tue 02-Apr-13 02:10:33

I'm awake at ten past two, nearly 2 years post affair with a DH who has done everything humanly possible to make amends.

Be kind and let him go.

KoPo Tue 02-Apr-13 11:02:49

Even if you managed to pick up all the pieces your marriage will still be broken. It sounds like your husband is being very sensible and is doing the right things.

Im pleased that you will have a home and the stability your DCs need. I hope you find happiness in the future and learn some very important lessons from this.

SomuchHurt Wed 03-Apr-13 09:06:08

Thank you all for your honesty and for not being too harsh with me.

I am starting to understand fully what I have done and the full price of that. I was sat with a friend last night and told her what had happened, she just looked at me and called me a cunt and left.

Yes I also think that the mess I made is unfixable and that I lost the love of my life by my own stupidity. I am also sorry to anyone on here that I have upset or annoyed with this. I feel so stupid and worthless.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 03-Apr-13 09:17:29

I think you'd find it quite useful to try and understand your own view on what you've done.

Your husbands reaction seemed to completely shock you, hence just calmly telling him, and then not really understanding the fall out. Telling him that itwas just experimenting, and didn't mean anything.

And now it seems that you are only really coming to terms with what you've done because your friend reacted badly as well.

It could be worthwhile finding a therapist or counselor to talk this through with? To understand why you did it, why you felt it was okay, and why you told your husband in the way you did?

Your husband will defend himself now, and it's very possible that he can't see a future with you anymore. He seems deeply wounded. Therapy might also help you work out what he's going through, exactly, and come to terms with however this turns out.

There's a... Naivety? To your posts that is rather confusing and unique. I'm sure your husband has noticed that too.

JaceyBee Wed 03-Apr-13 09:41:24

Well...to me it still seems like a huge over reaction on his part. To refuse to even discuss things? It doesn't really seem right. You don't think there's any chance he wanted out of the marriage anyway and is jumping on this as his golden opportunity to leave without looking like the bad guy? Sorry if I'm way off here, it just strikes me as unusual that after so many years he's just completely stonewalling you.

I read countless infidelity threads on here, as we all do, and for a betrayed spouse to just shut the door like this without any talk, counselling whatever is very rare I think.

And your friend, sorry but what a judgemental bitch! If my friend told me she was in a situation like this I would just hold her and tell her I'd support her all the way. Friends don't judge. God, it must be nice to be so perfect and for life to be so black and white, jeez!

flaminhoopsaloolah Wed 03-Apr-13 10:20:55

OP - don't bother with the friend - calling you that and just walking out was hugely judgemental and that's not what you're going to be needing; obviously she must think herself bloody perfect.

You made a huge mistake...and then you kept it to yourself for 12 years...and then blurted it out with a NBD attitude. It's a bad situation, but you don't need judgement like that - though if you're still a bit blasé and NBD about it to others then I will be able to understand if they are unable to connect with you because you really really need to understand that this is about your DH and what you have done, not minimising.

I hope the future brings better times for you all, whether that be separate or together.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 03-Apr-13 10:24:41

Jacey - What?! He's just found his wife not only had an affair, but kept it secret for 12 years and then blurted it out during an intimate conversation about past fantasies. And then claimed it was nothing, and didn't mean anything, and was just experimentation.

And you think he's looking for a reason to leave the marriage?! I can categorically say that my DP would be out the door, and I'd never give him the time of day again. Of course he's reacted emotionally, he's probably hurting more than he ever thought possible. To suggest he's at fault here is absolutely incredible.

As for your friend, you do need better friends. That's a horrid word to use.

the blase telling and shock at the reaction makes me suspect a bigger pattern of taking your dh for granted and falling back on his niceness to just put up with things. also his leaving as finally and clearly as he has seems to suggest there will have been plenty he has put up with and gone along with because of his nature and this is the last straw - or the thing that finally utterly threw into perspective how inequal the marriage was or how taken for granted/taken the piss out of he really was.

i think you need to look wider and deeper at how you have treated him, whether you have taken a lot for granted, whether you have over-relied on his easy going-ness etc to see the full picture now.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 03-Apr-13 10:35:52

OP - How did you tell your friend?

Is she a friend of yours, or a mutual friend?

JaceyBee Wed 03-Apr-13 10:38:56

I'm not saying I'm right, just floating the idea that he may not have been altogether happy in the marriage anyway, it's not out of the question. Not suggesting he's 'at fault'. Just that it might explain his lack of willingness to try and discuss things.

I suppose it's down to the individual but I think if I had find out my dh had a fling 12 years ago I would at least want to talk about it and work out where I wanted to go from here.

Mumsyblouse Wed 03-Apr-13 10:48:16

What on earth with the friend? My friends, as myself, have made lots of mistakes over the years, ill-advised affairs, really terrible family messes, abortions (not wanted)- I hope I have never judged them and always seen them as my friend first and their failings second. So, your friend is being a cos, why I don't know.

But of course your husband is hurting, and I do wonder if swallowed is right, as it does seem odd he doesn't want to know more/see if anything can be saved. I also wonder if sometimes men react differently than women, I hate to go all Mars and Venus around here (knowing how unpopular it is) but he does appear to be trying to solve the problem of 'you' without much emotional engagement. I think he's just acting now and not really processing it at all. But unfortunately you do not hold the cards in this situation and can only stand by until/if he does.

Mumsyblouse Wed 03-Apr-13 10:49:39

Not a cos, obviously a cow. What a horrible thing to say, strike her off the Christmas list. You made a mistake, but you didn't murder anyone. Cheating is not, in my own mind, the worst crime a person can commit.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 03-Apr-13 10:53:04

Op you are not worthless. You made a big mistake (which many people do) and it is possible that you have lost your DH as a result. However, and I speak as someonewho has been cheated on, this does not make you a terrible person. I am shocked by your friends reaction, I have sat and talked through this sort of situation with a few friends and would never react so judgementally and harshly especially when they are as remorseful as you.

I disagree with those who are saying that you are not taking full responsibility for your actions, I think that as it was so longago and in your eyes "an experiment"you did not realise what a shock/betrayal it would be to your Dh. Of course when you are the one who has been cheated on it doesn't feel like that atall. Unfortunately for many of us once someone has been unfaithful it is like something has been broken that you can never fix, even if you want to.

I hope your Dh has a change of heart I really do, I hope you are ok.

OP - You have a lot of thinking to do. About your self, your marriage and how you have treated your husband the last 12 years. Maybe he has sensed a lack of respect, or a superiority from your part, and you blurting out the affair gave him a massive light-bulb moment. What else have been going on in your marriage? Your lives?

How did you rationalize your actions? Do you work? Were you bored? Not in love with your husband any more?

Did you at any time the last 12 years feel any remorse at how you had betrayed your husband?

Or is it just now that you feel sorry for yourself that you are hurting?

In your posts I sense no real hurt on his behalf from you, not for your children who are experiencing the upheaval of their parents splitting. You only seem to feel sorry for yourself! Are you usually this entitled and egocentric?

FrauMoose Wed 03-Apr-13 11:43:34

I think people are expressing very strong views, that don't make allowances for the fact that we all let ourselves down.

I think heterosexual marriage is about love, forgiveness of one another's imperfections and the joint responsibility for bringing up of any children in a loving and secure environment. It is about companionship and about family.

An ongoing sexual relationship with another person makes all these things very hard to achieve. But although it must be very painful to learn about a partner's past relationship - one that took place during the marriage - this is in the past. I think the situation of living with a serial adulterer, someone who just can't/won't 'do' monogamy is very different.

I think this is a test of the relationship. Okay the husband is having to revise his opinion of the wife. But maybe the original poster is also now seeing her husband in a different - and rather difficult - light.

StrangeDays Wed 03-Apr-13 11:46:36

Re your friend. My guess is that she has been cheated on herself and that's why she reacted so strongly.

For some people, knowing that someone has been a cheat (and that's such a trivial word for such a huge thing) will affect the way they view that person and their moral compass. It's an abhorrant thing to do to another person and that's difficult to understand completely if it's never happened to you.

Also, once you see behind the factors that enable someone to behave in that way, the patterns fall into place and you can see it in other aspects of their behaviour. You get to see that person more clearly - and it isn't always a pretty sight.

I wouldn't be rushing to judge the friend tbh.

LordLurkin Wed 03-Apr-13 12:02:07

KoPo here on DH's account as I couldnt be bothers to log in on my own.

OP - I am also a bit confused by the reaction of your friend, the only things I can think of are.

1 - She is a mutual friend and is vey worried about you husband and is angry over things.

2 - She has gone through a similar thing of being cheated on recently and is still feeling raw over it and you have triggered a lot of deep anger and pain.

I would second the advice to find a therapist to talk to because you really dont seem to get it all yet and that is damned frightening.

JaceyBee - Just how is her husband supposed to react? He is feeling a massive amount of emotional pain here and is trying to do his best for the children. He is quite possibly being detached about things because it just hurts too damn much to try and process it all right now.

JaceyBee Wed 03-Apr-13 18:43:51

Alright, jeez! Just making a suggestion. My speculation is as good as yours or anyone else's, we're all only doing just that.

KoPo Wed 03-Apr-13 23:09:13

OP

Try reading this thread for some insight into your husbands feelings

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1722750-This-doesnt-look-good-does-it?pg=1

fedupofnamechanging Thu 04-Apr-13 09:34:30

I am not sure there is anything to be gained in confessing to an historic affair. If it is over and you are sorry and have never cheated again, then spilling your guts doesn't benefit the spouse in any way. The time to have told him was 12 years ago or not at all, imo.

I too think you have fallen into the trap of thinking because it was with another woman that it wasn't so bad. My dh says it would be worse for him, because it would mean there is a part of you that he could never satisfy.

The cavalier way you just threw this info at your dh would be devastating. It is sad that only now you are beginning to comprehend what you have done.

I do find myself feeling sorry for you, because you are not a serial cheater and haven't been lying every day for 12 years - for you this was over and regretted.

I hope that your dh forgives you.

BoringTheBuilder Thu 04-Apr-13 11:33:16

Agree Karma
But I think the husband should be allowed a period of dating around to really make sure he wants to take the OP back.
He might find that it's better for him being single or with a new partner
Or he might realise that he can forgive and try again.

FrauMoose Thu 04-Apr-13 11:51:46

I feel the urge to get Biblical. Matthew Chapter 7. (The language is a bit blokey.)

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mk. 4.24
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

I feel the urge to point out that the Bible does not actually say that a woman should not lie with a woman, it does not make it right, though.

meditrina Fri 05-Apr-13 09:13:05

Has OP said whether she is Christian? Because of course, if she is, then she will know adultery is condemned (no 'get out' clause based on sex of affair partner) and the non-straying partner is allowed to walk away from the marriage (not encouraged to judge the person, but not required to remain living with them either). That might not be the most helpful thing to reflect on right now.

OP: have you heard any more from him? Do you know what sort of RL support he is seeking, and where his thinking is now?

I dont think it was very relevant though. FrauM just said she was overcome by an "urge" to quote this.

StrangeDays Fri 05-Apr-13 09:39:37

In the light of this thread, stange urges should surely be kept to oneself?

StrangeDays Fri 05-Apr-13 09:40:11

stRange

And that's not a reflection on her choice of partner

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 05-Apr-13 09:44:46

I hope that nobody believes that I am judging. I was not, and am not.

These things happen and it was not for me to judge, or anyone but those directly involved.

I was more concerned with the way the OP is behaving. The way she told her husband, and then didn't seem to understand the severity, and had a very egocentric response
And then her friend reacted the same.

I wonder if it is the way that OP is portraying herself. If it's the same as on here, it could be worth speaking to your GP, or seeing a therapist.

I hope you are getting on okay, OP.

kittybiscuits Fri 05-Apr-13 10:36:25

Thinking of you OP. Your 'friend' is an arse. I find myself wondering what might have been going on under the surface of our marriage - both your 'inadvertant' telling (not suggesting you did it on purpose) and your H's very definite decision that it's over. Long-past infedility is a tricky one. It generally leaves the innocent party in a real dilemma, especially if the relationship is a good one. I know there is no shortage of Mumsnetters who say 'if I ever found out that would be the end of the relationship', but it's not that straightforward for a lot of people. I'm with JayceeBee on this in terms of instinct. Of course he is shocked and needs space. But can he really just end it without any consideration of what might be possible? I really feel for you, and your children are your children - if he is taking definite steps, then you need to ensure proper contact with your children. You are still very much their Mum. That should not change because of a trangression on your part. x

KoPo Fri 05-Apr-13 10:58:15

Now this is a new one on me. Lets look at creating things that a cheated on partner has done wrong cos he ended it pretty sharp. This has got to be one of the most glaringly obvious cases of anti male bias I have seen.

It really does have a "he's a man he must be bad somehow" feel to it.

I have NEVER seen a woman even face a mention of "did you want out already cos you just ended it" or "are you sure you were a nice DW" or "my instinct tell me you were not so good".

So far the OP has barely mentioned her children apart from saying that her husband offered to put a second property into solely her name so the would both have a home and place for the children. But somehow that translated to him taking the piss??

SomuchHurt Sat 06-Apr-13 09:39:51

DH and myself have sat down and talked. He says that there can be no trust between us now and that he feels that other things have gone on in the last 12 years. He is deeply suspicious of the few times I have not come home from a night out. He has said he could possibly have forgiven the affair if I had been honest back then. But the fact that I kept it from him for so long while judging other peoples infidelity very strongly, and on a couple of occasions accused him of cheating. He days he can't get past that.

We have told the children together yesterday. They asked why and I told them a simple version of the truth, and that it meant that mummy and daddy were not going to live together anymore. DH has made a solicitors appointment for us both so that we can sort out signing the other property over.

In response to the speculation about DH's motives and behavior in all of this. While it would be easy to try and lay some of the blame at his feet it would be unfair. No I am not having to look at him in a different light, except for the fact that I am most likely loosing him. I can say for certain that I don't believe he was looking for a way out. He looks dreadful and mutual friends say he is not eating or sleeping right. And once and for all he is not using the children as a weapon

To the poster that pm'd me the question about weather the OW knew I was married the answer is no.

The awful truth is my DH was and is a very good kind man. He is also a man who does not believe that adultery is tolerable or retrievable.

KoPo Sat 06-Apr-13 13:24:24

So you actually cheated on them both?

Says a lot about you and your values to me.

mynewpassion Sun 07-Apr-13 06:48:18

It sounds to me like your husband has strong convictions and infidelity is a deal breaker for him. Sometimes, people with these strong convictions, it doesn't take much thinking to a make the decision to end the marriage or a relationship. Why continue living with someone you can't even look them with respect or trust? The children deserves better.

While I do feel sorry for you, OP, most of my sympathies lay with your children and your DH. You were and are still selfish. Even in the midst of your betrayal, your husband is treating you with great care and putting the children first. Please do the same in turn for him.

mynewpassion Sun 07-Apr-13 07:21:12

One last thing, this will be a bit harsh. Don't be that ex who will put obstacles and unnecessary unpleasantness to the ex-partner when they move on to a new relationship. You had your chance and you blew it. Let him find happiness again and let yourself find it too. Don't use your children to score points against each other.

TDada Sun 07-Apr-13 07:45:11

OP knows that she has done wrong and she is genuinely trying to repair her family's life. Please offer her some more warmth.

TDada Sun 07-Apr-13 07:52:43

Have you discussed being friends with your DH? Continue to show understanding/empathy with his position. I am really hoping tat time, understanding and love with heal your relationship even if it changes. I couldn't lose a good DW in this situation. But each person is diff and it is his values and feelings that matter here.

Morloth Sun 07-Apr-13 08:05:08

I think you are right and that it is over.

That is fair enough on his part IMO not only did you cheat on him you lied to him for 12 years. Now he has to question every word and every action over that time and it is probably doing his head in.

I have no doubt whatsoever that DH would be the same if I cheated.

I guess all you can do now is make sure the children are reassured that they are still safe and loved and learn to co-parent with him.

One day he might be able to forgive you which woukd be good for him, but I doubt he will ever trust you which again is fair enough.

I hope you can get through this OK and your kids come out of it OK as well.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 07-Apr-13 12:07:42

I'm really sorry it's panning out this way, OP. I hope he has q change of heart. Best wishes x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now