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.
One about a sad pregnant lady married to a sad angry man.(502 Posts)
Before I start, please don't read this and say "divorce him, he's a shit head", much as that might be outstanding advice it's not an option I want to engage with. What I'm after is help in turning the negatives in my relationship into positives. How do I let go of the grief and hurt, and how do I persuade my husband to stop beating himself up over the protracted affair he had with my best friend (no longer)? I try every day to push the positives in our relationship: we're a good team, we can laugh and have fun together, we have an incredible group of friends that we share, we are going to be parents to a much wanted baby, and when we are both behaving we have glimpses of what used to be - it's easy to be together and we can both see how much the other loves us. However whenever times get tough - work stress, the whisper of tightening belts, having to multitask or balance multiple issues at once then the whole house of cards crumbles and one of us reverts to recriminations and aiming to wound the other. He is under a huge amount of pressure with work, an impending family bereavement, the worry of my earnings disappearing when I go off on maternity etc etc, and I try so hard to keep him afloat. On the days when I fail, as yesterday he rails and I cannot help but bite back. Last night we fought from 9 at night until 3am, and only stopped because our lodger came home. Once he has started he will follow me from room to room, verbally attacking and prickling me until I re-engage the fight. I am desperate to stop the cycle as I am conscious that our marriage is tiny and frail (married 11 months, his affair was on/off for the first 7, and when confronted twice he lied about it) and I do not feel it can stand up to such punishment without becoming a very twisted paradigm of what we wanted when we got engaged.
Please, help me to figure out how to break the cycle of bad behaviour we have both sunk into, I am miserable with him now, and would be miserable without him, but we had something so good and so precious not so long ago, and I want to find a way back to that.
How long were you together before you got married?
It sounds an awful way to have to live.
Do you honestly see a way that it will return to what it once was before the affair?
izchaz, what opinions do you want to engage with?
It's interesting you have on the outside forgiven your husband for his affair, but not your best friend.
I think you are still hurting.
How long have you been together?
I think counselling is your only option. Probably separate right now, not couples. I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time. Keep posting.
You need a strategy where you can call a halt to the argument and have individual space to work things out. The following from room to room is horrible to deal with, there HAS to be an agreement to just give each other a portion of time apart. You both need to acknowledge the harm it's doing and work out how you can minimise that, while at the same time, feeling safe to put across your point of view.
Is he as committed to saving the relationship as you are? Because both of you would have to change, you can't do it all on your own. Him following you from room to room, abusing you, is not helpful.
I know you don't want to ltb, but having six-hour long rows when you're not even married a year doesn't sound hopeful. I'm sorry.
I don't think anyone can provide a magic way of "letting go" of grief and hurt. I think it goes when it goes. And I think the single most flattering thing you say about your husband TBH is that he beats himself up over the affair - that is normal, and marks him out as not a total shithead. Your anxiety to rush this awful stage, while totally understandable esp as you are pg and vulnerable, is not ultimately going to serve your marriage well.
I second/third/fourth counselling. I don't think there is an easy path here.
Could he have written this post, do you think? Does he agonize about the nature and future of this relationship the way you do?
You talk a lot about what you want and what you are doing to save the marriage, to "keep him afloat". This is not just your job, he has to be as committed to it as you are. Is he?
He cheated you in the first 7 months of your marriage?
He is a shit head. Leave him. Not worth your time, anguish or wasting money on consuelling
I honestly can't say anything else.
Usually I'm not in the LTB gang, 20 year marriages which go through a rough patch and one of them has a fling, awful, definitely worth leaving over- but that can be fixed if both are prepared to put the work in.
Him cheating in the baby years of your marriage? Where you should be in love and happy and honeymooning? Nope.
You will spend your life unsure of yourself, policing him and generally shit and sad.
Build a good life for you and bump, and he needn't feature very much.
I cannot begin to imagine what a 6 hour row with him abusing you and following you from room to room does to you - I really can't.
I'd be in my car and driving away to get some calm if it started to blow up.
Could you at least do that?
Drive away and stay at a friend or family members house while you both calm down and then discuss it properly the next day?
I just wouldn't tolerate it. Why do you??? Seems like complete madness to me.
You need to remember that you are married 11 months and for 7 of those he was cheating on you with your best friend.
So he's cheated in the marriage for longer than he hasn't.
It must have only ended 4 months ago.
You need time to get over this. 4 months is not long.
I really don't know what the solution is as I wouldn't put up with a cheating scumbag but you want to work on it.
Maybe work on yourself first and have some counselling to understand YOU a bit better?
Good luck what ever happens but like others say. 11 months in and all this - doesn't sound promising.
You can begin by stopping trying to paper over the gaping cracks, and trying to convince yourself (and him) that it's all fine.
IMO if you won't entertain leaving, your only option is to develop coping strategies to put up with this for the rest of your life.
You can't break this cycle yourself. It requires both of you to be equally committed to it.
Thanks for the input guys, and thank you for giving your honest impressions. I'll answer a few questions to give you a better idea of things. We've been a couple for about two and a half years, but have known each other for about 6, and have always had one of those friendships that was instinctive. I haven't forgiven my friend because it transpires she was never my friend to begin with, she has recently been diagnosed as being very mentally unwell (I won't go into details on such a public forum). But suffice it to say, she had an agenda to get between the two of us and take on of us (I'm unsure whether she wanted my undivided support and attention, or something of a sexual nature with him) for herself. My husband, being a man, was apparently not able to fend off her repeated advances, and didn't feel able to come to me because he felt I would be likely to believe her story (which paints him as a sexual predator and a rapist) over his. I'm paring down the story here for brevity's sake, but she basically got him to crack once, then used that time and again to blackmail him into things that made him feel worse and more distant from me.
We are both working hard to forgive and move past the horror of the early months of our marriage - much as I hold him accountable for thinking with his willy and being weak, he holds me accountable for bringing her into our lives and not picking up on his subtle overtures that all was not well.
I would like to seek counselling, he went for a while, but stopped when we moved recently and has not returned. Most days I function well by not dwelling on it, and I worry about a Pandora's box type situation if I were to start counselling, yet at the same time I'm painfully aware that there is never going to be a good time to unwrap and digest all of this poison in me.
He is trying just as hard as me to get over what has happened, and he deals with all my pregnant behavioural idiosyncracies well, but when he cracks it is like mount vesuvius has just arrived on my front lawn! He holds so tightly to his emotions that he has night terrors (something that goes back to waaay before his affair), as this is the only time I think his brain gets to fully unwind and process. We both want to fix this, neither of us would be happy or complete if we separated, and I don't mean in the star-crossed lovers sense, we met our matches when we met each other, and we slogged through so much to be together, neither of us is prepared to stop fighting yet.
I think I need to go to counselling don't I?
Of course your husband was abe to fend off her advances. He chose not to.
There's a starting point to be getting on with.
Oh, and I didn't get in my car and drive away because my car is currently not working (which was the sort-of basis for the argument - im not proactive enough, even though he's a mechanic...Pleh) I'd have walked to a friend's place, but I'm pregnant and wibbly and don't know anyone where we've just moved to well enough to arrive a snotty, crying mess on their doorstep at approaching midnight and ask for a cuppa and a sit down. dear oh dear! Last night was crap, but it's by no means representative of us or how we normally communicate. hawkmoth I very much like your idea of being able to start a time out when we're both upset, I will talk to him about that when he gets in.
He blames you for the affair because you didn't guess that it was happening? Didn't you say you asked twice about it and he denied it?
pictish where do I go from your starting point? I'm not trying to paper over cracks, nor will I spent the rest of my life unhappily married, but I'm not ready yet to believe that our marriage is dead. We both want to fight on, so I'm asking for help. He is not innocent, but if I continue to look only at what he did then how will we ever make progress? Couples recover from affairs, is my relationship not old enough to make that recovery?
His "story" about the affair is complete bollocks. Until he takes responsibility for what he did you can't move on.
He really needs to understand that harranguing a pregnant woman who cannot escape for 6 hours is abusive behaviour. Again, unless he can take responsibility for his actions you cannot change things.
* but she basically got him to crack once, then used that time and again to blackmail him into things that made him feel worse and more distant from me.*
You need to stop excusing your husband's cheating this way. He made the choice, as a sane and intelligent adult, to keep fucking her.
Oh and if she forced him into sex then that's sexual assault and she should be reported. Also there would be nothing to forgive - you don't blame him for being asaulted do you?
People recover from affairs when the lying stops, when the guilty party takes responsibility and is genuinely sorry and the other party is able to forgive them.
While the lies and blame shifting is still going on, you can't move on.
not a good environment for a baby is it ?
"we fought from 9 at night until 3am, and only stopped because our lodger came home" how is that going to work with a newborn?
go to counselling yourself. on your own. =ou can develop strategies to how you repsponnd his behviour but you cannot change his beahviour. only he can.
one of you needs to leave the house you share so you can get space and decide if you can live together.
look at the wods you use "neither of us is prepared to stop fighting "
fighting being the operative word...
Join the discussion
Please login first.