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One about a sad pregnant lady married to a sad angry man.

(502 Posts)
izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 14:51:49

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.

maja00 Wed 24-Jul-13 14:53:24

Have you had counselling?

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 14:55:24

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?

marchart Wed 24-Jul-13 14:57:08

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?

Finola1step Wed 24-Jul-13 14:57:38

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.

Hawkmoth Wed 24-Jul-13 14:59:23

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.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jul-13 14:59:41

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. sad

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:00:24

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.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:01:15

Could he have written this post, do you think? Does he agonize about the nature and future of this relationship the way you do?

PatriciaHolm Wed 24-Jul-13 15:02:47

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?

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Wed 24-Jul-13 15:13:00

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.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 15:21:31

You can begin by stopping trying to paper over the gaping cracks, and trying to convince yourself (and him) that it's all fine.

Dahlen Wed 24-Jul-13 15:22:46

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.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 15:43:37

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?

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 15:49:40

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.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 15:50:15

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.

CailinDana Wed 24-Jul-13 15:51:50

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?

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 15:52:52

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?

maja00 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:53:43

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.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 15:54:15

* 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.

CailinDana Wed 24-Jul-13 15:54:53

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?

maja00 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:55:05

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.

cestlavielife Wed 24-Jul-13 15:55:14

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...

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 15:55:21

CailinDana yes, you're right, it's not logical, he blames me for not seeing the early signs, but he did lie twice at the end, when I confronted him after she accused him of having sex with her (from her nice safe spot inside a secure unit).

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 15:55:31

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.

Woah. I'm sorry, that is the most utter fetid bollocks.

It's not that his account of the affair is necessarily untrue (though he will, I imagine, be minimising as much as he can, knowing that her account will not be taken as reliable). But he has got a fucking nerve if he seriously holds you responsible for "not picking up on his subtle overtures" that he was being blackmailed into sticking his dick somewhere else. Is he an adult or not?

I suspect you are accepting this "responsibility" as a sort of self-preservation instinct. Because if you're both "at fault", then it isn't just another miserable story of a man being a shit, and the marriage can be saved, right? For all that you explicitly rule out "star-crossed lovers", you are coming across as quite committed to a dramatic narrative that involves faults on both sides, tempestuous rows, can't live with each other, can't live without etc. It's all very fighty and Burton-Taylor. But the brutal fact is, you're not the one who had an affair and lived a lie for seven months of your marriage. He is.

Yes, you need counselling.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Jul-13 15:56:21

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

shock

And you have been married only 11 months. And despite this affair that happened before you'd barely had a chance to hang up your wedding dress, you still deliberately became PG with this man?

I don't think there is anything I can say to help you.

Xales Wed 24-Jul-13 15:56:25

Six hours following you around fighting. What a wasted life you are going to have.

What is this going to do to the poor kid you are bringing into this? it's not going to get any easier for the next few years when you are dog tired.

He could easily have said no to your friend. He didn't want to. Please don't insult all men by saying they wouldn't or couldn't fend off her advances.

You may not want to be told to leave the bastard however you do need time apart until you are both sorted.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Jul-13 15:57:51

You are in denial about so many things it's hard to know where to start really. Honestly, just read your own posts back and see how you are excusing him and romantising/justifying this appalling behaviour.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 15:58:57

he holds me accountable for bringing her into our lives and not picking up on his subtle overtures that all was not well

I do apologise OP, but you'll excuse while I make scoffing noises, and have a wee laugh at his brass fucking neck!!

Waffling Wed 24-Jul-13 16:01:15

Mind boggling. You're bringing a baby into that?

StillSeekingSpike Wed 24-Jul-13 16:02:16

Your 'friend' was obviously seriously unwell if she is now in a secure unit. And I wonder how on earth she managed to get him to the situation where he was shagging her.
I also wonder how on earth a baby is going to fit into 8 hour arguments, with you two following each other from room to room. Presumably you'll be carrying the baby while he shouts at you sad angry.
It seems an awful lot of your anger is being diverted towards your 'friend'- and his anger is diverted towards you for not 'rescuing' him. Which would be fine, if you two wanted to carry on like this. But what about a poor bloody child, who deserves a bit of security and attention and quiet??????

Bakingtins Wed 24-Jul-13 16:07:13

This is supposed to be the honeymoon period! There are going to be a lot of tough times over the lifetime of a marriage, you need some strategies to deal with them without attacking each other. Having a first child is a very difficult period for many otherwise happy couples, it's a massive readjustment of priorities and roles. Anyone can be lovely/loveable on a good day, when they are on their best behaviour, but their true character is revealed by how they react under pressure. sad

As for having an affair, with your friend, in the first 6 months of your marriage, and then having the gall to blame you for it.... I'm speechless.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 16:07:50

I should clarify my pregnancy a little here - we had been trying for a long time to conceive, then all of what had happened came out of the woodwork, at which point I moved out and we had very limited contact for a month. When I moved back into the house we had one sexual encounter, and I fell pregnant by accident. I do not feel that it is the child's fault its parents are such a mess, so did not and could not abort. I won't subject this child to arguments - we have until the child is born to reconcile our problems, if it cannot be done I will leave, and that will be that. He knows this. I understand why you'd be disgusted by his behaviour, and mine for continuing what many of you think is a foolish endeavour. You are entitled to think as you like, but I came here hoping for constructive input. madbuslady you are right, I do feel the need to share responsibility: if I spend all day thinking only about the negatives, and only about the wrongs he did then we are doomed before we have begun, so I choose not to think in terms of apportioning blame unequally, I choose to try and get past this. Does that make an ounce of sense? Probably not, I don't know that I can explain my drive to make my marriage work, only that when it does work, when we both pull together in the same direction it's what a marriage ought to be to my mind.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 16:10:04

Your husband is a rotter for using your friend's mental illness and your naiveté for excusing his behaviour. What on earth were you doing getting knocked-up? You may think you are love's young dream but, here's the news: you are one of those nightmare couples that no-one wants in their circle. You are seemingly intelligent and rational, but you are gravely deluded about this man's worth.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 16:12:23

So in essence, you will not make him take responsibility and blame for his affair alone, because then you'd have to admit to yourself that your husband is a cheat and a liar, who sleeps with your friend and then blames everyone else for doing so...like the waste of time and space that he is?

I can see your dilemma. hmm

StillSeekingSpike Wed 24-Jul-13 16:14:05

I think you taking half the blame is a way of getting back control over the situation. Because the alternative will be that you have to face up to the fact that he kept getting an erection- and using it to fuck a vulnerable woman.
I bet he's cried hasn't he? They always cry angry
But the idea of using your pregnancy time to rebuild your marriage is so desperately sad- you should be concentrating on the baby and looking after yourself, not appearing in some cheesy melodrama.
He is 'sad'- but more in its modern meaning.

Dahlen Wed 24-Jul-13 16:14:29

I am deeply saddened on your behalf that you have accepted the myth that men can't help themselves when it comes to controlling where they put their penises. Amazing how he managed to maintain an erection for those 7 months despite not fancying her/living in a constant state of fear of her. hmm

Ever thought that perhaps her version is correct and that her MH issues made her vulnerable to a sexual predator like your H? That is actually way, way more common than the scenario your H is painting.

The only acceptable response from a cheating spouse is abject remorse and full acceptance of responsibility. Anything less and you should recognise that you're dealing with someone whose only regret is the fact they got caught. No matter how hard someone pursues another, they have to want to reciprocate for anything to happen.

Have you fallen into the trap of mistaking heightened emotions for love? Just because they are strong doesn't mean they are healthy. A good loving relationship shouldn't hurt and it shouldn't be hard. Working at a marriage doesn't mean slogging through every day, it means treating each other with consideration and respect - which should come easily because you love each other - and pulling together as an equal team when things get temporarily rough.

Also, what you had was so special in the beginning because it wasn't real. The man you see now is the real man. The 18 months before your marriage was an illusion when he (and possibly you) were on your best behaviour.

Throw enough consequences at him and he may possibly act like the man you once knew, and that might be enough for you. However, you'd need to be prepared for the fact that as soon as you took your eye off the ball or made yourself vulnerable in any way he'd revert to type.

I'm sorry for your situation I really am, but this won't get better. If you really are determined to stick with it - and that's your choice - I suggest you make plans to safeguard yours and baby's financial security, insist on a barrier method of contraception, and seek fulfilment and support from friends, family and work.

PatriciaHolm Wed 24-Jul-13 16:15:16

"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. "

As far as he's concerned, it's all someone else's fault. The woman for seducing him, yours for introducing them and then not spotting the affair. Nothing to do with poor little him, oh no.

This is all bollocks, and the relationship will NOT recover unless he takes full responsibility for having sex with someone else! He needs to do that, you can't do it for him.

Ogg Wed 24-Jul-13 16:16:13

Agree with Pramela - you're a bit flipped out if you think this relationship is ever going to be remotely healthy for either of you and especially the child. You both need long term individual counseling before you even try to engage as a couple.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 16:17:27

I am deeply saddened on your behalf that you have accepted the myth that men can't help themselves when it comes to controlling where they put their penises. Amazing how he managed to maintain an erection for those 7 months despite not fancying her/living in a constant state of fear of her

Ever thought that perhaps her version is correct and that her MH issues made her vulnerable to a sexual predator like your H? That is actually way, way more common than the scenario your H is painting.

This, this...so very much this.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Jul-13 16:17:46

I don't think anyone on this thread thinks this marriage stands a chance. The saddest thing is that you will probably spoil the first five years of your baby's life trying to prove us all wrong.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 16:19:38

Dahlen, what a brilliant post. I hope the OP reads it over and over again.

MorrisZapp Wed 24-Jul-13 16:22:35

Oh no, you sound like such a lovely person but this story is shocking. It simply isn't realistic to ask us how to stay with this arse of a man.

He blames you for introducing you to the OW? He cracked once then all the other times were blackmail?

And you're going along with this? Please do get counselling.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 16:24:19

I agree with what they all said. You can't change a marriage on your own. You'll go mad trying.

And "being a man" does not excuse him fucking your friend when she threw herself at him.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 16:24:53

I'm not disgusted at all, OP, but I don't think this approach will save your marriage. I haven't said LTB, but as maja says, there has to be total honesty. You can't "try to get past" something you only discovered four months ago if you're both still in denial about whose fault it really was. You're asking us for a magic pill that will make you both forget about what's happened and rewrite history so that you don't have to leave him. We don't have one.

On the circumstances of the pregnancy, I think they call that hysterical bonding, which can sometimes follow on from trauma. Your pg hormones have you high as a kite, in addition to which you have just moved and sound a bit isolated - hence the "drive" to make the marriage work and the level of denial you're having to resort to. He's basically all you have at the moment.

Honestly, I suspect your best shot lies in apportioning blame "unequally" as a first step in the course of counselling - because he bloody deserves it. If he's as committed as you say, he'll take it and acknowledge that you are right to dish it out.

Bakingtins Wed 24-Jul-13 16:26:31

I think in general that committed relationships should be worked at and not abandoned at the first sign of trouble. That means both parties working at it, though.
Before you can even begin to move forward he has to take responsibility for his actions, then you can decide if you can find it in your heart to forgive him. You can't try to gloss over what he's done and "focus on the positives" because it will be there lurking and festering until it is properly out in the open and dealt with, and every time you have an argument you will bring it up.
Lance the boil, preferably in counselling, then you can see if you can build anything positive together.

Most couples have to deal with work stress, money worries, bereavement, changing circumstances .. most couples do not spend 6 hours screaming at each other or rush from their wedding reception into the arms of a friend. It sounds as if there is no trust, no respect, no love. Less than a year into a marriage that does not sound hopeful.

WinnieFosterTether Wed 24-Jul-13 16:26:48

You've made it clear you don't want ltb advice . . .so . . .go to counselling on your own.

It will help you to work through the multitude of issues in this relationship and give you coping strategies for the long arguments that follow you from room to room.

tbh I hope the counselling will help you work your way out of this. He has treated you appallingly.

You mention the relationship works well when you both 'behave'. If by 'behave' you mean act in a very conscious manner and damp down all your instincts then you need to accept that type of behaviour is not sustainable long-term.

I feel for you, I really do, but please for you and for your baby, go to counselling.

SolomanDaisy Wed 24-Jul-13 16:27:01

How long have you known your best friend? She has accused this man of rape. It's actually quite rare for someone to lie, what makes you sure she is?

Badvoc Wed 24-Jul-13 16:28:31

His bad behaviour.
His adultery.
His lies.
Why are you trying to mend things?
Is he as agonised about this as you are?

NicknameTaken Wed 24-Jul-13 16:28:44

we have until the child is born to reconcile our problems

Well, it's good that you've given yourself this deadline, but to be rigorously practical about it, moving out with a newborn is horrendously difficult. Even supposing you managed to patch things up while you're pregnant, throw a crying baby, sleepless nights, and resentment over whose turn it is to get up, and the most solid of relationships can get rocky.

I won't tell you to end the marriage as you don't want to hear it. I will tell you to reverse your plan: he should move out now. You can still try to see if you can fix it if that's what your really, really want, but it's a lot easier to sort out logistics during pregnancy than during the newborn phase.

The above comments are from a pragmatic viewpoint. If you want a moral judgement (and who ever does?) he sounds like an incurably nasty little shit.

Thurlow Wed 24-Jul-13 16:29:05

I know you came on here for constructive advice, and not to be told to leave him, and I know there is a baby on the way but... Cheating on you for the first six months of your marriage and then having the nerve to blame it partially on you, and wanting to continue having an argument for 6 hours... Wow.

He cheated on you. He picks fights with you. My only constructive suggestion, seen as you don't want yet to contemplate the really logical answer here, is some serious counselling.

NicknameTaken Wed 24-Jul-13 16:29:30

Don't throw a crying baby. Throw one into the mix. Metaphorically.

eurozammo Wed 24-Jul-13 16:35:19

This is all so broken and messed up I don't even know where to start.

Using the time the baby comes as a deadline is a terrible idea, for the reasons already given.

Jan45 Wed 24-Jul-13 16:37:57

OMG I am shocked at your view of what happened and him actually saying he holds you accountable, OMG is he for real?

2.5 years and you've already had to cope with him shagging your mentally ill friend, does that not tell you anything?

If you really feel you want to stay with him then I would suggest he takes full responsibility for what he did to the relationship, it really doesn't sound like he has, perhaps that's why you are constantly arguing. Unfortunately you are finding out much to your dismay that affairs can't just be gotten over, the person who has broken the trust must do everything and I mean everything in their power to regain that trust and build a better relationship together, him following you from room to room in your pregnant state for 6 hours isn't going to do that. It's him that needs to put the positives back in, try finding out if it's really what he wants.

Bitofkipper Wed 24-Jul-13 16:43:40

What was it you had to " slog through" to be together and could it be the reason you are scared of this marriage failing?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Jul-13 16:51:49

"if I spend all day thinking only about the negatives, and only about the wrongs he did then we are doomed before we have begun, so I choose not to think in terms of apportioning blame unequally, I choose to try and get past this. Does that make an ounce of sense?"

Not really. At the moment you remind me of those terrible old police teams who, convinced that X is responsible for the crime, will go all out to pin it on X, looking only for evidence that fits their case and ignoring or falsifying anything that doesn't support it.

That's where you are unfortunately. I sympathise because you have a lot of pressures on you to make this work... a baby, ideas of 'love', family expectations (I'm guessing), looking a fool in front of friends that haven't got their wedding outfits back from the dry-cleaners. You're not a quitter and you are an optimist... not necessarily bad traits. But your mistake is that you want to see your DH as a damaged, tormented and sad man that can be fixed and not a nasty, abusive, aggressive, and thoroughly contemptible man that you should walk away from very quickly.

If you want your marriage to stand a chance, send him away to think about what he's done. Let him take whatever time he needs to work out why he cheated on you... (and not blame the OW which is cowardly or you which is insulting) ... and why he thinks it's OK to harangue you for hours on end when you're the innocent party. Tell him to do this from another location so that you can also think clearly without him in your face.

newlifeforme Wed 24-Jul-13 16:51:49

Do you really know your husband? It is typical for the honeymoon period, in a relationship, to last 2 years so it seem that once your relationship moved into the steady phase he was off seeking excitement with your friend. He continued with the affair because he wanted to.

What do you know about his background and upbringing? He obviously has issues and whilst you can't change him you can encourage him to go to counselling. It may not save your relationship but it may help him to be a better father in the future.

Please do seek counselling for yourself and you will need support through this difficult stage.

If you can't bear for him to move out then you must get an agreement
that your fights end when they escalate. It's not productive to row for 6 hours - nothing is achieved.

Greatdomestic Wed 24-Jul-13 17:03:02

I'm sorry you are in this situation, it's grim.

Your husband is treating you with a total lack of respect and care. But you know this already.

Does your husband want your marriage to last? Sounds like he might as long as you make all the effort and absolve him of any blame for repeatedly having sex with a mentally ill and vulnerable woman.

A marriage can recover from an affair but only with a lot of work from both parties. From what you've said, this is not your situation.

I hope you do decide to have counselling.

clodhopper13 Wed 24-Jul-13 17:07:34

Oh my Goodness. This it totally doomed. You just CANNOT mend a relationship on your own, YOU cannot. And I cant believe you are so deluded about his 'affair' story. The reasons its such hard work is because you cannot forgiven what your gut knows is complete and utter rubbish.

Until and unless you get "real" ... you will live the rest of the time you spend with this arse in misery.

LTB sorry

Peartreepeartree Wed 24-Jul-13 17:14:34

I know you probably are not at the point where you are willing to accept this, but I really don't think this is a healthy relationship to bring a child into.

I think you have to think about your baby and take some time apart to focus on yourself. I think you are in denial about how toxic this relationship is.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 17:51:38

I'm sorry, I know you're all saying what is right according to what you have been told by me, and you may still be right when I fill in the blank I deliberately left. The OW is not vulnerable, I took her to the secure unit after she threatened to take her own life (and that of my godson) for the umpteenth time because she wasn't getting her way (my husband had broken off their affair and she had been caught by her husband). She has since been diagnosed as a sociopath, and it turns out she has form for seducing men and then accusing them of rape or sexual assault when she is caught. My husband is not innocent, I do no absolve him of guilt, but I also know that she is an arch manipulator who spent almost 8 months before we married wearing him down, and making him believe that he could not come to me. She is not a vulnerable woman, she created this situation and I will not allow her the victory of having achieved what she set out to do: to break our marriage and put me through a nervous breakdown.
She would walk to my house whilst I was working nights (5 long shifts a week) and moan to him about her marriage and her husbands infidelities, and her aspirations for our marriage, all the while poisoning his convictions and reducing his confidence in us.
My husband is not innocent but he was led to this by a woman far beyond the scope of anything I have ever met. Her husband and I have worked out a confirmed count of 13 instances where she has done precisely this sort of thing to other couples in the past 16 years. I cannot stress how dangerous she is, what sort of a woman threatens the life of her months-old son in an effort to persuade anyone of her innocence?

StillSeekingSpike Wed 24-Jul-13 17:56:06

REALLY??????? hmm.

If she has form for manipulating and sexually molesting men, why on earth didn't your husband just go to the police? I am sorry for you and for the poor baby who does not know what it is being born into- but I don't believe a word of the above post. I think you are so far up that river in Egypt, you have gone beyond rationality.

Whatever the circumstances of the affair, he had it, by choice. Unless and until he takes full responsibility for that and does everything in his power to regain your trust you are on a hiding to nothing. While you continue to suppress your anger and hurt over it you will continue to feel the poison inside you. That's just a fact (millions of women can attest to that, many of them on this forum).
His behaviour to you, following you and haranguing you for 6 hours into the night is abusive, full stop. It doesn't matter whether it only happens once in a blue moon, any abuse is too much.
I advise you to ask him to move out for the time being while you both undergo separate counselling. You can then assess the progress of his contrition and personal development from a safe place, while working on your own boundaries and understanding of infidelity and abuse.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 18:11:07

None of which alters the fact that he was still able to get an erection with her, and he is still apportioning blame to you for the whole thing which is just brazenly, sickeningly unreasonable. Until there is a proper reckoning for him, none of this will get any better.

I will not allow her the victory of having achieved what she set out to do: to break our marriage and put me through a nervous breakdown.

Do you see how having this as a motivation is basically scuppering everything you do? By pre-ordaining that your marriage must be happy-happy-joy at all times, you're not giving either of you a chance to truly go through a healing process together. This woman is irrelevant now. The biggest "victory" you could hand her would be to continue obsessing over her toxicity and letting it direct your thoughts about YOUR marriage.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 18:11:24

No of course someone who gets taken to a secure unit and threatens suicude isn't vulnerable. Good good.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 18:14:06

And this is a former "best friend" apparently sad

CailinDana Wed 24-Jul-13 18:22:29

The six hour fight the other night - i get the impression that it wasn't actually a fight but in fact a six hour session of criticism from him? Am i right?

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 18:23:00

Cheers for the advice all, I'm sad that so many of you feel that my marriage is doomed. Thank you for taking the time to share your views though. I will get counselling, and I will keep trying to move forward, with or without my husband. If anyone is interested I'll post updates every now and then. It's very hard to write succinctly about what has been an horrific few months for me, so I know I've left gaps, left questions unanswered and made it thoroughly difficult for you all to get a true appreciation of the situation. But thank you for trying.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 18:24:12

CailinDana - no it was a stand up row, we fought about trivial things, with the heat of much greater things.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 18:28:04

Madbuslady - I was this woman's protector from a vile unhappy marriage for a long time, except that she'd made up all the unhappiness to gain my sympathy, orchestrated events to make her husband look bad, and ensured we never spoke without her present to guide the conversation. She arranged a falling out with her husband so she could move into my house (knowing I'd not refuse an abused woman a place to stay) and then spent a month getting her claws into my husband. As much as I am no longer her friend, she was never ever mine, because friends do not tell friends lies in order to monopolise their time and their care, they do not harangue and threaten when that friend needs time to go and get married, and they don't seduce their friend's husbands.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 18:30:53

And equally, good husbands do not spend seven months fucking their wife's pal, do they?

You seem to have the measure of her...now apply the same intelligent rancour to your loser husband.

you sound like you desperatly want this relationship. I advise you read 'The Surrendered Wife' if you want to make a go of it. All the best.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 18:40:34

Ok, so what about my point about still letting her direct your life - because you are. You're not prepared to get seriously angry about what your husband, who took vows to you, has done, because as you see it that is playing into her hands - a woman who sounds like she should mean nothing to you now. That is profoundly fucked-up.

You're also making her the scapegoat for everything bad that's happened, and now you're wondering why it doesn't feel good, why you and your H can't "move on". Well, because it's not all her fault is why.

I'd be hopeful this would all come out in individual counselling.

hotbot Wed 24-Jul-13 18:40:37

Poor poor child....... Get real and get organised for yours child's sake.

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 18:41:16

Hear! Hear! Pictish. OP, why on earth do you think we, as readers, need you to fill any gaps? No matter how heinous a picture you paint of this woman we will still drag your attention back to the fact that your husband wanted her, was aroused enough to fuck her and desired her for a further seven months. He is an unconscionable dick to now blame her and you for his betrayal. This wasn't a one night stand, OP, where he threw his hands up, beat his breast and wailed at the sky in remorse. He gave himself to her for seven months. I don't know how you can bear to look at the bastard. Admit you have made a terrible choice of partner and boot him out.

Have you ever heard the expression, 'if twenty-five people are calling you a horse you'd better buy a saddle'?

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 18:49:13

Do you think your husband loves you? I don't think he can do. He really shouldn't be stressing you out when you are pregnant. It's not good for your baby at all. Are you the type of person who succeeds at things you put your mind to? This is an admirable quality but you are very much in the wrong in this instance and letting your marriage fail will mean you have a far better chance of making a success of motherhood. Have you read the Shirley Glass book for recovery after an affair? Might help. You can download to a kindle or phone or whatever. Good luck. It's horrible for you. Try to be brave tho and face the reality that your husband is an AWFUL man. His behaviour is that of a completely nasty inadequate and you sound traumatised and determined to brainwash yourself. It's natural to try to avoid the rottenness of your situation but keep going with it and you will end up neurotic, bitter and lonely. Get away from him. You can do it. He is a shit.

CinnabarRed Wed 24-Jul-13 18:51:22

OK. So let me take your latter posts entirely at face value.

Let's then apportion blame for their affair.

What would feel about right to you? 60:40 her to him? 70:30? 50:50?

Whatever the number, my first point is that none of the blame is yours. Not one jot. For your H to suggest for one instant that you should take any blame whatsoever is sickening.

Which brings me to my second point. Just how much responsibility is he taking for his share of the blame? Is he examining what it is within him that allowed him to betray you? To trust her version of your marriage above his or yours? To lie? Not just once but repeatedly? On some level he allowed this to happen. And until such time as he faces up to that then I'm sorry to say that you're doomed.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 24-Jul-13 18:59:16

He is trying to push responsibility for his affair onto you.

He follows you from room to room to keep an argument going.

He's given up counselling.

In all honesty it sounds to me as though he is trying to push you to end things rather than do it himself and be the 'bad guy'.

I think you can only move forward if he starts taking responsibility for himself and being honest with you, and you can't make him do that if he's unwilling/unable to.

I'm not suggesting you should throw the towel in - that's your choice, but I think you need to prepare yourself for the likliehood that this won't end in happily ever after.

Thurlow Wed 24-Jul-13 19:00:54

Two massive problems here anyway.

1) You have 6 hour fights. That's just not healthy in and of itself.

2) He is trying to apportion some of the blame for his affair onto you - which is unbelievably shocking and, quite frankly, arselike.

You are having a child together. Do you really, truly, deep down feel that this is a healthy relationship to bring your child into?

I honestly don't think that most men would have just slept with a woman for 7 months no matter what sort of emotional and psychological blackmail she put on him. He has to take a huge part of the blame here, even if we take your posts about her mental health at face value.

And no man who truly loved his wife would just sit back and sulk "well, it's not my fault, she made me, and anyway you should have noticed that something was wrong" once it's all out in the open.

It's enormously hard to see what is salvageable here.

GilmoursPillow Wed 24-Jul-13 19:03:09

my husband had broken off their affair and she had been caught by her husband)...
what sort of a woman threatens the life of her months-old son

So was he screwing her while SHE was pregnant?

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 19:03:33

I have to say I find the story about the best friend highly unlikely.

It seems a narrative created to absolve the husband and demonise the absent (ex) friend.

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 19:05:42

OP this will never be resolved unless you and he are completely honest.

Dishonesty just creates blocks beyond which you cannot pass.

So if you really do want this to work (I don't believe it will but it's up to you) - you have to insist on full honesty with him, and you also have to be honest with yourself.

Thurlow Wed 24-Jul-13 19:10:45

Actually, gilmour, I hadn't picked that up about the dates...

MysteriousHamster Wed 24-Jul-13 19:18:14

OP, this can only be fixed if he is honest and takes responsibility.

He is too angry with you to take responsibility.

I'm sorry you have to read so much that will not at first appear 'constructive' but the work has to come from your husband, not you, and he's not showing that he's willing to do much.

StillSeekingSpike Wed 24-Jul-13 19:21:10

And as the supposed 'best friend' had moved into the house, this must mean he was fucking her while the OP was out at work.....

You say that when the marriage is good it is all you want? You have been married 11 months- for 7 of that he was having an affair, then you separated and got back together when the one off shag got you pregnant. And since then you have been angsting about the affair. So that's 7 months based on a lie, and four months of emotional shite sad

cory Wed 24-Jul-13 19:21:50

"if I spend all day thinking only about the negatives, and only about the wrongs he did then we are doomed before we have begun, so I choose not to think in terms of apportioning blame unequally, I choose to try and get past this. Does that make an ounce of sense?"

This presupposes that your relationship with your dh is the only thing that matters. That may have felt so once. But it cannot be the case now. You are going to be a parent! There will be a small person who will have a far greater claim on you than your husband can ever have, because you are his/her mother. And whatever that child sees in his or her home, those will be the values that stick with him, that he or she will have to depend on in life. If it is a girl, she will learn from you how she should be treated by any future partner. If it is a boy he will learn how to behave from your expectations of his father. If you are forever making excuses and accepting the blame because saving the relationship is all that matters, that is what your child will take away and apply to their own marriages.

You can't afford to make mistakes over this one. You haven't got the right.

If you are to have any future with your husband whilst still fulfilling your responsibilities towards your child then you will have to totally give up on this idea that you should accept blame for things you haven't done. It isn't enough of a target that he has to stop arguing. You have to stop conciliating as well.

Greatdomestic Wed 24-Jul-13 19:23:09

So, the OW has done this 13 times in the last 16 years? Really? And it is only now that her husband has been able to work this out, having seen his wife in action a previous 12 times?

Surely charges have been brought if she has claimed malicious and untrue claims of rape and sexual assault?

But all this distracts from the fact that your DH had a sexual relationship with her.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 19:25:43

Pictish - believe me I do, he's the lowest form of heel, but given the huge propensity for people on here to go "LTB" I didn't really see the point in highlighting his failings. I also think it's not a great idea to get into the habit of fault-finding with those you love.

crunchbag Wed 24-Jul-13 19:30:05

OP, none of this is your fault, be clear on that.

Are you saying this all started 8 months prior to the wedding, with her 'chasing' him and him not being able to tell you anything or did I misunderstand that?

kalidanger Wed 24-Jul-13 19:34:57

When I was twisting myself into knots, leaps of logic and an utter whirlwind of bullshit trying to settle my relationship with my mad and bad ex I admitted to a friend that I felt quite mad with it all. She pointed out that of course I did. "You're very clever and you can't understand why you can't fix it". That pulled me up short.

OP you're obviously very bright yourself, but in this instance you are eventually going to have admit defeat.

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 19:35:26

I had a 'frenemy' like this. I've used the same word as you - horror - to describe the period in which I acknowledged what she really is. That period was the beginning of a shortish, unbelievably painful, tearing of veils from my eyes regarding my husband, boss, colleagues and family members. It did cause me a breakdown; I was the one who ended up in a mental hospital. "Truth hurts" has resonance for me, though not in the way it's usually meant.

Of course it takes a minimum of two to make a relationship, toxic or healthy. My part in my own downfall? Blind trust and irrational optimism ... heroic efforts to see my world as I wished it were; denial of the first order. Just like yours.

Your ex-friend can't have been successful every time she tried. The thirteen instances you & her H have identified are those where she succeeded. The others? Her 'failures' didn't deny to themselves what they were doing with her, or she with them. Unlike them, your husband abused a woman's apparent vulnerability to stick his dick in her. This makes him a nasty person, a sexual predator. He went on to lie to you, abusing your trust. This makes him a dishonest person, unworthy of trust. He blames a woman for making him have sex with her. This makes him a fucking chancer, I'll give him that! And he blames you for minding that he lied, cheated and abused. This is classic abuse.

"She made me do it" hmm
"You made me do it" confused
"You should be sorry" [no emoticon]

In the film, Single White Female, Hedy sneaks into Sam's bed and gives him oral sex. Sam refuses to keep it secret from Allie. Hedy kills him. I'd be curious to know whether your OW attacked your husband with a stiletto?! Did threats to his life make him get an erection, use it to have sex on a dangerous, pregnant woman, and abuse your trust? Would it not have been more rational to go to the police, or at the very least tell you and her husband of the threats?

" 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."

That's bullying. You're married to a selfish, dishonest, unfaithful, manipulative bully. Well done.

Marriage isn't a shackle, you know. You can stop being married to him.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 19:37:15

"The habit of fault finding"?

WTF?

We're not talking about leaving dirty pants on the bathroom floor. He was screwing your so called friend for seven months. While you were pregnant. It's not really nit picking to find fault with that.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 19:38:20

Madbuslady - I have been seriously angry at my husband, I'd have to be mad to have been. I soulsearched for weeks about whether to leave him or whether to return and fight for what I wanted. I made the decision to go home and fight for what I wanted because it's what I want - saying I don't want her to win is a flippant justification for my actions, if I'd come home purely to spite her it'd be a pretty shitty basis for any relationship. I'm not wondering why it doesn't feel good, I know why - because I'm still grieving. What I'm looking for is ways to spot when a cycle of anger starts, and how to diffuse them before they become ingrained behaviour.

Greatdomestic Wed 24-Jul-13 19:39:49

"I also think it's not a great idea to get into the habit of fault-finding with those you love"

I wholeheartedly agree, when it relates to situations which aren't possible dealbreakers in a marriage, not a 7 month long affair.

Peartreepeartree Wed 24-Jul-13 19:41:21

I feel worried about how this man will react when you have to devote your time and attention to a newborn baby.

MrMeaner Wed 24-Jul-13 19:43:21

Rarely have I read such well written, lucid and articulate posts married to an inability to accept that probably things have gone too far here...

I really dislike the immediate LTB mentality and won't say it, but there is little I can add (as a man) to the above.

If there was some earthly way I could have ended up having an affair (not just a one-off fling) for 7 months with my wife's best friend (mad or not) only a couple of years after getting together with her, shortly after marriage, when really life should be the best it's going to get (because with a baby it will be 100 times more stressful) then the only way I could even vaguely imagine saving the marriage would be to absolutely prostrate myself and do whatever was needed, my wife needed, to try and build up some trust again. There is absolutely no way I could harangue someone for 6 hours or even argue with her, if fundamentally the cause of all issues were mine. If she wanted counselling I would set up the sessions for us, if she wanted me out, I would go until told otherwise.

He may not even be a particularly bad person, but there is something badly flawed at the base of this relationship that somehow you need to get to the bottom of. He does not appear to want to make the effort to let that happen.

Best of luck.

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 19:43:37

Do you feel you've no right to demand honesty, respect and fidelity, izchaz?

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 19:47:07

ways to spot when a cycle of anger starts, and how to diffuse them

Answer: Leave. Leave for half an hour, three hours, a weekend or a lifetime, but leave. That is anger management 101. I'm astonished you don't know it.

Keep a packed bag, with taxi money and a phone inside it, somewhere near the front door. (Even I did that, and I was a right mess!)

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 19:51:08

Man, I have opened such a shit storm for myself here. I'm struggling with all these posts, it's kind of like being hit repeatedly in the face and being told I'm stupid for having hope with every strike. Thank you all for your input, please don't be offended if I stop posting for a while, this is emotionally taxing for me, because as kind as you are trying to be you're telling me that I've married a predator, a liar and a cheat. And that none of those things can be changed.
I quite often read the boards here and often think "all these men cannot possibly be abusers and bastards, because if that were true there would be no men left". I think perhaps it is easy to say that a man is bad or weak or pathetic, it is much harder to live with that man and see all the flavours that make him a man and still say he is truly bad. We are all flawed, that doesn't make us lost causes.
Thank you to the various people who posted about books to read, I will chase those up.

maja00 Wed 24-Jul-13 19:55:50

You know he's a liar and a cheat though, you've said so yourself.

Unless he stops lying and is genuinely remorseful, you can't forgive him.

PatriciaHolm Wed 24-Jul-13 19:59:14

"What I'm looking for is ways to spot when a cycle of anger starts, and how to diffuse them before they become ingrained behaviour."

You CAN'T. Because the only way to stop this is for HIM to be completely on board with you, with the marriage, to be upfront and TAKE THE GUILT for what he did, and to work himself to stop goading and prodding. Which he won't. So no matter how much you try to pacify him, take the blame, see him as a poor misguided male overwhelmed by a poisonous witch, the cycle will continue because HE is a twat of the highest order who, deep down, knows he's got away with it.

If he wanted a future with you and baby, he would be on his knees protesting for forgiveness not following you around the house picking fights. It sounds almost as if he wants you to kick him out, so he can say, "well it wasn't my fault the marriage failed...."

Greatdomestic Wed 24-Jul-13 20:04:17

OP, no one thinks you are stupid.

However, your DH has lied and has cheated on you. IMO posters are trying to tell you that what seems to make him a lost cause is his apparrant failure to take responsibilty for his actions and deflect blame to both the OW and you, rather than the affair itself.

We are all flawed. But having a 7 month affair so early in a marriage is a biggie. As is harranging a pregnant woman for 6 hours.

Viviennemary Wed 24-Jul-13 20:05:43

I think you should try marriage guidance or a therapist. Maybe you can make it work and have a happy relationship. Or maybe this wor't be possible. But you sound determined to try so the couselling route is the only one I can see being in any way worth while. It is hateful to be betrayed like this by a so called friend.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 20:06:42

I think the point you are missing is that many of the people responding to your thread will know exactly what it is like because they've been through it.

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 20:08:38

It is really hard to see, Izchaz. I salute you for sticking with it. Please continue on your thread, breaks & all, because you'll eventually be glad you did. If I may, I'd recommend getting a counsellor as well - a good, strong-minded one - to bounce your thoughts & feelings around safely.

The idea that this forum squeals LTB at the slightest provocation is ridiculous. There are quite a few current threads proving the opposite! Mumsnet does have a reputation for laser vision or uncompromising honesty, when most others turn away from painful facts. This is the reason it attracts a high proportion of posters with serious problems: on some level they know the truth, and come here for support with recognising it consciously.
As I said, I salute you smile

CinnabarRed Wed 24-Jul-13 20:09:44

I also think it's not a great idea to get into the habit of fault-finding with those you love.

Isn't that exactly what he's doing to you?

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 20:10:20

I've married a predator, a liar and a cheat. And that none of those things can be changed.

One of them can! The first.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 20:14:13

He can change. But he has to want to. He sounds more interested in blaming you, the OW, the OW's husband, anyone but himself for his part in this. And he can't and won't change until he takes a good hard look at himself.

Your posts seem driven by the assumption that if only you try hard enough then you will be able to take the entire mantle on your shoulders and do it for both of you. You can't and you'll break yourself trying. Different marital problems, but I did the same. Didn't work.

Also don't be surprised if when you have your baby you start to feel a little contemptuous of your egocentric husband and his failure to prioritise you and his family.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 20:19:07

Garlicagain, I do absolutely demand honesty, respect and fidelity. I expect anyone I have dealings with to have those qualities. I was devastated by my husband's actions, and had he been a friend, a boyfriend, even a family member I would have sent him to hell. But I married him, I stood in front of everyone I've ever given a damn about and promised to love him and honour him for all time. I can't walk away freely until I have done all I can to work with him to repair the damage and build something better from the ruins.
I will absolutely take your advice about a grab bag though, that's a very good idea, thank you.

Inertia Wed 24-Jul-13 20:21:35

You told us he was a liar and a cheat (even if you didn't use those words, it's what the evidence shows).

In the course of describing the rest of his behaviour, you've also told us that he's a bully who verbally abuses his pregnant wife; that he refuses to accept any responsibility for his affair and instead blames you for it; he ditched counselling; he refuses to help sort out your car even though he's a mechanic.

We're not trying to convince you that your husband is some ogre rather than the sweet misguided fool you believe him to be. We're holding a mirror up .

PramelaAftersun Wed 24-Jul-13 20:22:54

OP I'm sorry you feel hectored by us and it must be awful to have some hard truths hammered home about your husband. It is true you have only given us a snapshot of what your relationship feels like and what this man is made of, but the truth is, your situation is far graver than you are letting on to us. We are not there, in your home, when this man is arguing with you for six hours, following you from room to room and blaming you and her for his actions. I can't imagine how screwed up you must be. I am worried for you because your determination to manage this marriage as though it is a precious business you have invested your whole life in is obliterating the truth about this man.

I hope you will return to the thread to re-read some of the excellent and insightful posts that have been written. If any of these offerings are too painful to read it is because you know, deep down, that they are true.

Inertia Wed 24-Jul-13 20:23:43

You can't repair a marriage single-handedly - especially with a man who won't even take responsibility for where his own penis went.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 20:26:05

Don't be embarrassed into wasting your life op.

cleopatrasasp Wed 24-Jul-13 20:26:36

OP, it really just shouldn't be this hard. Marriage is about someone adding to your life and making it easier and vice versa, not all this shit.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 20:28:03

I've just realised the glaring omission I've made in all my posts to this thread, which has certainly coloured the picture I've drawn for all of you: we weren't arguing last night about her, or the affair or his fidelity - all these things have been discussed (heatedly and calmly) in the past 4 months, and can be again if we choose to. We were arguing about his family, my job, his job, the lack of noodles in the cupboard, and why he hadn't shut the windows to keep the bugs out. I'm sorry, I've inadvertently allowed you all to think he was haranguing me about the affair, which isn't the case at all. He was, is and will continue to be prostrate with grief and anger with himself about what he did, he made a series of grave errors and is painfully aware of it, but also knows that she played a huge part in his downfall. He is honest and able to talk about it, although obviously uncomfortable, given his guilt, and we have talked about it all a lot (to the point of sickening detail). I don't want you all to think he's trying to shift blame, he isn't, he takes responsibility for his actions and inactions, but says he cannot help but resent (a very little) that I didn't do the jealous woman routine and demand to know why he was spending so much time with A WOMAN. Heyho, I never thought my lack of jealousy would be my downfall!

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 20:29:59

izchaz I can understand this is hard to read, fwiw I've seen no hard evidence that your H is predatory, just weak & dishonest.

The cases on here tend to be quite extreme, things have to be fairly bad for someone to get to the point of asking a forum for advice.

I've only arrived here recently but I've seen similar relationship issues crop up on other net forums.

Infidelity features a lot, because it's fairly common.

Equally, there are a lot of women in abusive relationships, we know that from the domestic violence statistics. If women in unhappy relationships gravitate here for advice, it's not surprising if many cases feature unpleasant or abusive men.

That doesn't mean to say all men are like this. I don't personally know any abusive men in real life, although I know men a handful who've been unfaithful. At the same time, I don't know women in real life who have such low expectations of men as some women here.

I generally encourage people to work on relationships, but that's not always possible. Ultimately one can't help but give advice based on what one would do oneself in any given situation.

I can respect your wish to try working on this marriage, but personally, if my husband had cheated on me so soon after marriage, for a protracted period, then tried to blame me, then yelled at me for 6 hours while I was pregnant: he would identify himself as someone who simply was not worth my time. And I can't help wonder why you think he's worth yours.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 20:30:18

Agree with Chub. Not everybody here thinks there's no possibility of change.

A lot of us are just trying to explain that your heavily conciliatory approach is the thing most likely to guarantee that nothing will change. This has all happened very, very recently, it has involved the breakdown of a friendship which sounds traumatic, your husband still sounds like an aggressive mess himself shooting blame all over the place AND you are pregnant with all the extra expectations/hormonal ups and downs that implies. It's nothing to do with stupidity, it's just that you're under incredible pressure. You are galloping way, way too fast towards managing your anger and "moving on".

Might be an idea to re-read thread after sleeping on it? I think you need to separate out the LTB advice from other advice, I get the impression you're slightly lumping it all together and rejecting the lot. Good luck with it all whatever happens next.

Thurlow Wed 24-Jul-13 20:30:20

Please stay with this thread, people here do want to support you and help if they can.

But to repeat what others are saying, what your husband has done and is still doing is massive.

If you came on here asking for the same advice about your relationship disintegrating because of cycles of anger, picking on each other etc because you were both exhausted and stressed and kept rehashing old arguments like "we shouldn't have bought this house" or "I told you not to take that job", that's one thing.

But to ask for the same advice because your brand new husband had been sleeping with your best friend for seven months and even now refuses to admit that he was at fault... Can you see the difference? Can you see why we are all responding how we are?

For many people, one party cheating or having an affair won't be the end of a relationship and they will gradually be able to work through it. But they have to work through it together. As someone said above, you can't save this marriage on your own.

Can I ask if your DH is excited about the baby?

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 20:31:15

It doesn't matter what he was telling at you for 6 hours about.

Xales Wed 24-Jul-13 20:33:35

Seriously you were followed around and got at for six hours until you argued over noodles and open windows and that doesn't sound fucked up to you?

You asked him twice and he lied about an affair. How many times are you meant to ask someone you have only been married to 11 months. It's called trusting the person you married...

BUT...

it is your fault you didn't do the jealous woman routine hmm

Can you really not see it?

CocktailQueen Wed 24-Jul-13 20:34:20

He blames you for introducing your friend to him? So what are you supposed to do, not introduce any woman to him, keep him away from women?! He needs to man up and take responsibility for his own actions and stop blaming you. IT was his decision. Pure and simple.

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 20:36:08

To be fair, I don't know about anyone else, I didn't infer the argument was about the affair. You didn't specify. It makes no odds because arguing for that long about bugs, jobs, family is still not normal.

If your husband is that prostrate about this affair, why can't he have the balls to be honest with you? An honest, mature man takes charge of his own life and says this was my mistake, not yours, not the other woman's, mine.

Resenting you for now, even just a little bit, for being unaware he was cheating and not being jealous is ridiculous.

SirBoobAlot Wed 24-Jul-13 20:37:13

He is blaming everyone except himself. And therefore you will get nowhere with him.

He was wrong. And until he accepts that, things will not change.

Why should you suppress how you're feeling when you have every right to those feelings?

I hope even if you don't like some of what has been said, it stays with you, and you can realise he holds the blame here.

Thurlow Wed 24-Jul-13 20:37:34

We were arguing about his family, my job, his job, the lack of noodles in the cupboard, and why he hadn't shut the windows to keep the bugs out

We've argued about all those things. Everyone has. Especially in the heat, and even more so when pregnant.

But six hours of that? shock

I know you shouldn't compare relationships too much but I don't even think our 'state of the nation', what the hell are we doing debates got anywhere near six hours...

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 20:38:00

I didn't think the 6 hour argument was about the affair. Your first post was specific that the fights are about family illness, work, domestic stuff etc. In other words, the stresses that crop up in any marriage. I think people have focused on the affair because that is the inevitable backdrop to the fights, and should at this point be affecting how he treats you and behaves around you.

Either that or he's the kind of man who will always harangue his pregnant partner for six hours about commonplace stuff, which is actually rather worse as an interpretation.

kalidanger Wed 24-Jul-13 20:38:50

The only thing you've actually enjoyed someone suggesting on here is a grab bag. You're only saying you'll look at books because they might contain some magic that tells you want you want to hear.

A grab bag of stuff and taxi money. The means to escape from him.

Inertia Wed 24-Jul-13 20:39:44

It doesn't matter that he wasn't haranguing you about the affair.

It does matter that he followed you from room to room to keep restarting the argument, verbally abusing you- irrespective of the subject matter, that is not acceptable.

Sorry to be so brutal, but you are finding excuses for all of the behaviour he exhibits which you say you want to change. You can't change his behaviour- only he can do that. He won't bother, though, while he can get away with blaming you for it and relying on your willingness to paper over the cracks.

You want to honour your wedding vows- he clearly didn't, and those vows mean nothing until he accepts that he has to mend the damage caused by his actions.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 20:55:38

But I married him, I stood in front of everyone I've ever given a damn about and promised to love him and honour him for all time. I can't walk away freely until I have done all I can to work with him to repair the damage and build something better from the ruins.

So what, and yes you can.

Ezio Wed 24-Jul-13 20:56:37

Wow, your marriage has scared me off marriage for life.

Are you sure the affair didnt happen before you got married, or a lot longer than he cops too.

Seriously, you have no hope with this man, he blames you for his affair, so he hasnt dealt with it and you havent forgiven him.

Hes stopped counselling, that says he thinks it time you got over it.

Its shocking that your bringing a baby into this sham of a marriage, if you think you baby will fix things or hes gonna become a great man, your deluded.

Look up wavesandsmiles, shes pregnant, her ex was abusive and cheating, and even looked up late abortions, she left her ex, because she knows, she deserves better.

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 20:59:23

Your wedding vows are completely voided out because within weeks he was making a joke of them. You have grounds for an annulment and you have no grounds to continue the marriage an every reason to believe that he is not capable of fidelity respect love.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 24-Jul-13 21:00:42

Wow. He has really done a number on you.
I know you took vows, but HE broke them. repeatedly. And now he resents YOU for not being jealous enough!?
Unless this woman strapped him down and jumped up and down on his cock for 7 months (in which case charges should be brought) he CHOSE to have lots and lots of sex with your best friend.
You didn't do that-he did.
I am sorry, and I know it's not what you want to hear, but your marriage doesn't exist. It's not a marriage if one of you fucked it up to this extent.
I am also concerned about the following you around and goading business.
Listen, I was in a relationship with an abusive man, and that sounds mighty familiar.
I too stayed a LOT longer than I should have, because I too couldn't face the idea of my marriage being a failure. He (I thought) was my closest friend. I couldn't imagine life without him. I blamed myself for reacting to his goading. If I hadn't been so fiesty and combative, he wouldn't have been like that. Blah blah blah.
Thank God I left.
I barely ever think of him now. He was not my friend, or my soulmate. He was a bully who gaslighted me to the point where even his affair was my fault.
Now I know that I can have a relationship with a man and it's nice. We don't have to fight. We can respect each other. It's easy.
How easy do you think it would be to leave after the baby is born??
Having a new baby piles more stress and angst onto any relationship, so to have one together you need to be rock solid.
This baby won't magically change things. It will make things between you harder.
Now, while you are pregnant is the time to take action.
Sorry again, but I have to be honest.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 21:10:19

HE stood in front of everyone he's ever given a damn about and promised to love YOU and honour YOU for all time.
But rather than keep his promise, (the one that you hold so dear) he chose to fuck your mentally unstable friend, for the majority of the first year of your marriage!

He follows you around from room to room for six fucking hours over a load of shite, nitpicking and goading and refusing to let you disengage from the row, until you are completely wrung out.
That's how sorry he is. That's how devastated he is. That's what he thinks of your marriage.

Never judge someone by what they say, but by what they do.

BrianButterfield Wed 24-Jul-13 21:14:37

My husband is a flawed man. We are all flawed. But his flaws are leaving the milk out, or not bringing a drink for the toddler, or getting grumpy when I toss and turn in bed and keep him awake.

We exchange a slightly cross word or two, leave the room, and come back later, sheepish. Maybe he brings me an ice lolly or I rub his back to make up for it.

That's a normal marriage, that's a normal 'flawed' - and I'm pregnant, we have a toddler, our kitchen ceiling fell down - you know, we have stresses like anyone else. When they say a marriage is work, it means sometimes you bite your tongue when your husband conveniently overlooks a stinky nappy, not forgive a 7-month affair. It means he sighs a little when you haul your pregnant self to bed at 8pm for the third night running, but tidies the house up when you're asleep. Can't you see, it's not naive or idealistic to want that, it's normal and lots of people have it. Drama and angst and soul-searching isn't normal, or romantic, or a sign you're 'worth fighting for'. What's worth fighting for is a man who pays the extra 50p to get your marshmallows on your hot chocolate even when he thinks it's a rip-off.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 21:16:44

It's hard to hear, but please don't think I'm not listening, or that I'm rejecting out-of-hand what you're all saying. I think perhaps it's my failing in explanation - to give you a little bit of insight all of our mutual friends, my family AND his family (those that know) have all backed my plan to give this another shot, they all said (without coaching) that he's been exceptionally stupid, incredibly childish, but is obviously keen to try and correct his mistakes. Of course I'm not trying simply because they've all said it's a good idea, what I'm trying to say is that the people who know him, have known him longer than I, and those who have my interests vested above his have all said independently that there is something there to fight for. I fear I'm not writing any of this clearly enough to help, ugh, too frustrating!

BalloonSlayer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:22:09

"but is obviously keen to try and correct his mistakes. "

- but all the posters on here are saying that he is not trying at all. He is blaming it on you and shouting and yelling for hours. What is the obvious "trying" that all your family and friends have observed. I'd wonder if it is just looking affectionately at you when they are around and getting you pregnant. Some people are easily impressed.

The clue might be that they have known him longer than you. So they might be more friends of his then they are of yours? So they are hardly likely to say "Don't waste your time - leave him" about their dear old mate, are they?

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 21:22:38

Also is it possible that your positioning him as victim is a passive aggressive way of pretend forgiving him while actually seething but refusing to let him go? It's a v unerotic sort of mummy energy and very castrating (apologies I have been studying Freud). He would be less angry with you if you were honest enough to display righteous anger and separate from him. Not saying you couldn't get back together later. But he drove the dishonesty for the first seven months and now you are. Come on be brave be honest and find your dignity and courage. Get thee to a counsellor quick.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 21:25:04

Well, I've not been disagreeing at all that it is worth working at the marriage - if he is prepared to do it. I'm just not sure, given what his behaviour is like at the moment, that he is, or that a conciliatory approach in which you go around trying so hard to "keep him afloat" is the correct one.

As an aside, families IME are very keen to maintain the status quo - it upsets their ideas about the world when family couples split up, or aren't quite who they thought they were. That may or may not be the case here, we can't know, but it doesn't by itself cut much ice compared to the concrete examples you've given us of his actual behaviour.

Wiseysdaughter Wed 24-Jul-13 21:25:06

I wasn't going to post but for your last post iz.

Thing is it isn't about you and him any more. It's about the need of your child to live in a secure, safe and calm home where her/his parents are both emotionally and psychologically able to keep their child in mind every moment of every day.

What you have described is so far from that I worry about your grip on the reality of this situation. You are not going to be able to tuck all this away before the baby comes. It's bad, really bad.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 21:26:13

Absolutely none of your "I'm not explaining this properly x y z" posts have made a jot of difference to my view. And just because your family and friends are invested in the you staying together - so what? You learned you should put up with this crap somewhere. Your family's attitude is unsurprising.

MadBusLady Wed 24-Jul-13 21:26:17

Anyway, will stop banging on at you now, I'm sorry if this is making you feel got at flowers

CailinDana Wed 24-Jul-13 21:27:57

Do they know about the 6 hour row?

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 21:32:05

That's what I was thinking chubfuddler. Tremendously motivated to hide/minimize/take the blame for a massive injury, betrayal and hurt.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 21:32:43

Balloon - it's not just our friends (many of whom I've known longer than him), but his family and my family. Everyone who knows as a couple was shocked and appalled when all this came out, and initially refused to believe it until I made him visit every single one and explain himself to them.

Free - I do like a good bit of Freud, and there have been days when I'd happily have castrated him with a particularly rusty spoon, however I have done a lot of soul searching over what I want to do, and what the motivators for those desires are, and part of the reason I came back and fought, and part of the reason I have worked so hard to forgive and move past this, and part of the reason I'm on here asking for help is because I don't want to make him less than a man, I want a partner and an equal, and I am trying to set an example of how to behave, so that he has a paradigm.

And that last sentence is so grammatically poor! Sorry!
I do feel that the best way for us to come through this is to create a framework for positive behaviour - no recriminations, trust, mutual forgiveness, calm, honest engagement ect etc, and if I behave in that manner and encourage him to do likewise we have a better chance of avoiding falling into poor relationship manners/habits. In order to understand all of that logic you probably have to share my viewpoint that the affair (which I should add was mostly nonphysical, more sexting and inappropriate communication - not that is ok either) was and is an abberation, and is absolutely out of character for him.

akaWisey Wed 24-Jul-13 21:36:25

(NC) In fact I think if you stay and try to mend it without him taking 100% responsibility and crawling bare-arsed over broken glass to make amends - you'll be back in a few months time because he'll have had another affair and this time it'll be your fault that you failed to spot how upset he was that you aren't taking as much notice of him because of the DC.

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 21:37:12

Good luck with that. Seriously. You need it. And probably a tank load of ads. Just don't be surprised if you wake from the fog in a few months, think "what the fuck am I doing" and kick him out.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 24-Jul-13 21:40:39

It's not your responsibility to set him an example!
Why would you ever think it was!?
I am utterly gobsmacked tbh.
I have no doubt that you will come to your sense at some point down the line, but it won't be soon by the sounds of it.
And if you put your child through this, well, that will be on you. None of this is your fault, but once that child is born, you will be responsible for what happens in it's life.

SunshineBossaNova Wed 24-Jul-13 21:42:05

He sounds awful. I wish you all the best.

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 21:43:23

But no recriminations is inappropriate an massively unhealthy in this instance. So even if you set up the quite patronising dynamic of good big sister showing naughty little brother how to behave by setting a good example, you aren't going to succeed! You are setting a bad example! You can't be his mummy/teacher and his lover. And you are quite frankly the worst placed person in his world to be taking on this task. I appreciate you love him an want to fix it but IMHO you are going to fuck it up even worse. You will end up in a sexless marriage. Four months is WAY too soon to be moving on. Get some therapy. It is absolutely misguided to play the sainted martyr here. I have seen it many times. He will grow to despise you and far from being grateful for yr benevolence and good example he will disrespect you and want to get away from you. You are de-valuing yourself as much as he did. Be smart. Show some independence. Make him up his game by about a million percent.

akaWisey Wed 24-Jul-13 21:45:46

The framework for positive behaviour was embedded in your wedding vows.

celestialsquirrels Wed 24-Jul-13 21:45:52

The trouble is that what you want is a husband you can live and respect and have an equal partnership with. And that isn't what you've got. So you want to fight and try and build him up to be the husband you want and that your family and friends want you to have.
But he will never be that husband.
He is the kind of husband who spends the first seven months having an affair with your best friend.

He is never going to be the husband you think he should be.

SecondRow Wed 24-Jul-13 21:50:22

izchaz, in terms of the "I'm not explaining things properly, more detail" posts, what I can't quite glean from your account is what exactly your H is doing to work on the marriage, the framework for positive behaviour etc - I'm only getting about the work and determination you are putting in. What is he doing? As everyone is saying, you can't fix it by yourself.

kalidanger Wed 24-Jul-13 21:56:04

What are all these friends and family saying to him?

Hanginggardenofboobylon Wed 24-Jul-13 21:58:44

I don't normally post in this section but felt compelled to by the OP.
what struck me from your post was that you said things get bad when times are tough and you quote various life stressors. You are about to bring into the relationship one of the most stressful and testing situations you can - a newborn. Your relationship is not equipped to cope with that.

I was also struck by the fact you sound so articulate and intelligent but you are approaching this thread like you are the relationship, I.e. something you have to put right.

Please separate in order to work this out if that's what you decide to do, you cannot sort this out (if it is salvageable) in the current 'hot house' of raw emotion with the stress of pregnancy when it is all so volatile.

Good luck op, marriage is not a punishment or a test. You will not have not failed at it, your DH will.

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 22:00:39

You would do better to set an example of healthy self love. Get him to move out. Let him try to earn your trust and respect. If he is a decent person then he knows full well that he has not paid for this transgression. Haven't you ever seen The Mission?? He has already blamed you for putting temptation in his way. The next thing will be when he shave around again "you shouldn't have forgiven me so quickly". Again, have seen this scenario many times.

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 22:01:07

Shave=shags

Greatdomestic Wed 24-Jul-13 22:08:24

I agree on the friends and family having their own agenda as to why couples should stay together, despite what dreadful behaviour one or both parties might have carried out. So don't take it as read they have your best interests at heart.

That's why forums like this are a good barometer. If you decide to leave the marriage or stay, it has zero impact on the posters here.

I'll bet he's telling those who will listen about how much he loves you, would be lost without you etc, etc.

But this is the same guy who argued with his pregnant wife for 6 hours, despite her moving from room to room to get away from him.

Isabeller Wed 24-Jul-13 22:23:10

I have found it very difficult reading some of this thread and I'm not sure my response will help or even make sense so apologies all round, I am ready to be told off if necessary.

OP, I think I understand what you were asking originally and the way you are trying to handle this very unexpected turn of events in your life. I am sure, at your wedding, this scenario never entered your head as one you would be facing.

Quite a few years ago I tried to get over and around marriage difficulties and worked hard on myself to handle feelings of hurt and betrayal. At that time I ended up going to Al-anon (support for families of Alcoholics) and heard the suggestion of going to six meetings to see if it is for you. One reason is that you may have been affected by someone else's drinking - a parent or sibling, not necessarily spouse - and this might be affecting how you are handling things generally.

When I read your OP I thought of how the Al-anon approach helped me detach from my husband's unacceptable behaviour and work on being a happier and better Mum. It also suggested not making a quick decision to end a relationship but 'working the programme' for a while so any decision was made from a position of strength not weakness (DV an obvious exception).

I'm not for a moment suggesting anyone in this situation is an alcoholic, just sharing my own experience, it comes down to a therapeutic approach to codependency so Melody Beattie might help.

My marriage did not, ultimately, survive and this may have been inevitable from early on but I had to find that out by living through it. I know I did all I could to 'save' it. With hindsight some of it misguided.

I do wish you well and hope you can focus on yourself and your baby.
xx Is

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 22:36:34

What the world says, in this case family & friends, is always irrelevant, because they never know what's really going on in a relationship, even if you tell them at great length, because they're not in it with you.

Friends & family will tell you not to dump him & then when you get a better partner, they'll say they never thought the ex was wrong all along.

So much for that.

It's very clear how committed you are to trying to making this relationship work, but from everything you have said, your H does not seem to equal this commitment.

Genuinely making amends does not amount to prostrating yourself with self-reproach, that's purely superficial: a sincere repentance can only be founded on total, uncompromising honesty. Otherwise it is a false repentance - half-hearted, insincere.

He has to say that all of this was unilaterally his fault, not yours, not other bird's. And he has to never goad or yell for 6 hours ever again.

I can understand you resorting to "recriminations & aiming to wound" when you're tired, but I cannot understand how you can justify him doing so - and you say very clearly "each other" in this context.

What does he have to be angry with you about, why is he trying to hurt you, is 7 months mucking about not enough? He should be on the floor begging for your forgiveness.

I say he should be doing this - not because that would make him into a perfect man - but because this process of rebuilding the relationship simply will not work if he does not.

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 22:37:50

^they thought the ex was wrong, not they never thought...

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 22:46:01

What's worth fighting for is a man who pays the extra 50p to get your marshmallows on your hot chocolate even when he thinks it's a rip-off.

Thank you for this, BB, how lovely smile And how relevant!

Re friends & family - for goodness sake, I've done it. I'm ashamed of my shallow self-interest now, but she wisely left him anyway. The thought at the top of my mind was how it'd mess up our cosy 'dinner party' clique if they split blush My brother, while I was wailing "Why didn't you tell me you disliked XH2," went off on a romanticised memory trip about what a good couple I made with XH1. That bloke cheated on me, raped me and strangled me, but we were a good verbal/intellectual match and enhanced other people's social lives. So the other people would've preferred me to carry on wisecracking.

I like your constructive framework, izchaz. It's exactly what your baby's going to need. Your commitment to it will keep you steady in the times when s/he tests you extensively. Children need to be safely held in a positive regard at all times. Adults want this, too, but we are not entitled or needful as children are. Adults who demand it from their partners are incapable of providing it to the child, and tend to sap their partners' strength.

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 22:51:28

Isabeller, you've just reminded me of a crucial lesson I learned in recovery! Thanks!

It's this:
Unconditional love is only for children and animals.
They need & deserve consistent love, but can't be expected to understand conditionality/reciprocity. A frequently one-way flow of love, therefore, is appropriate.
Not so with adults.

izchaz Wed 24-Jul-13 22:51:33

Ugh, we've just had another fight. I'm not up to fielding more of this tonight I'm afraid. I will try and pop back on tomorrow and respond some more. I feel backed in to a corner, and it's not comfortable. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day with a clearer view of the goals. Gnight all.

garlicagain Wed 24-Jul-13 22:53:17

Good night smile TAKE SPACE! Hope you get some sleep.

pictish Wed 24-Jul-13 22:53:55

OP - before you go, can I just tell you that you are very brave to stick in with us, despite the onslaught you're being subjected to.

Everyone here is right, but to have everyone say it all at once with varying degrees of persistence is hard.

You are handling this thread very very well. xx

Good luck dear sleep well

freeandhappy Wed 24-Jul-13 23:17:24

I'll third that. Well done for listening and posting. Sleep well flowers

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 24-Jul-13 23:25:32

Just remember, we are all saying the same thing to you. And we are all very different people. A lot of us have been where you are, so no need to feel ganged up on. Sleep well.

MorrisZapp Thu 25-Jul-13 00:00:06

Night sweetheart x

You write such articulate, intelligent posts op.

I think you're an intelligent woman, but how on earth has your husband managed to make you think the affair was all the fault of a) you or b) your mentally ill friend!

He sounds like a bully.

Glowbuggy Thu 25-Jul-13 02:30:26

So he stuck his penis in your 'friends' vagina for the first 7 months of your marriage and it's YOUR fault for introducing them?

He should be doing ALL the work here, not shouting at you. He has NO respect for you at all.

Get an STI check, get rid of the bastard and bring your child into calm environment. This is not your fault and you deserve the very best. I really feel for you.

Cabrinha Thu 25-Jul-13 05:48:52

Paradigm? Framework for positive behaviour?
Look, if you want to be a counsellor, go for your life.
But... you can't be his counsellor and his wife. Bit of a conflict of interest.
I've been where you are (not same history) thinking that I could fix this all - what with my intelligence, understanding, degree in psychology... You can't.
Even if NONE of the stuff with shagging your mate (he couldn't help it? Please) happened, 6 hour rows are too much in the first year of any marriage.
You deserve a happier life than this.
You haven't failed if you end it - he has.

Mixxy Thu 25-Jul-13 07:06:59

Oh dear. He is making you solve the rubix cube of your marriage by peeling off the stickers.

Any work worth doing on this marriage (and I feel there is too much) is all on his end.

You mentioned not being willing to sling him out because you made vows in front of everybody you've ever cared for. He did the same. Unless he is willing to stand in front of them all again and admit HIS OWN MISTAKES then itnis over.

Losing love is a devastating event. You are however pregnant with your first baby. I guarantee you, that no matter how much you think you love this man, you will love your baby more. Forever. Please focus on your baby.

KateCroydon Thu 25-Jul-13 07:27:15

Morning.

Congratulations on being pregnant. You're patient, trusting, optimistic, loving, caring, intelligent and adaptable and you will make a wonderful mother.

You've also said that you'll leave if things aren't better by the time the baby's here. Thing is, doing anything with a newborn is tricky. You might be recovering from an episiotomy or a c-section, sleep-deprived, etc... Just the mechanics of packing could be tough.

So here's a plan. You decide now that you'll spend the first two weeks of the baby's life at your mum's house. You make sure that you have everything you need there and (importantly) you divorce the idea of going to your mum's from the idea of getting a divorce. This is just about making sure you get support from someone who's done this before.

thatdaisygirl Thu 25-Jul-13 08:01:56

Hi,
have never commented on a post before but your story has really moved me and so here goes!

I really feel for you as this is such a desperately sad and difficult situation to find yourself and your new marriage in. Nobody knows how this situation will work out, everyone has got their own opinion (and some have very strong opinions!) but in the end this has to be your decision.

But I'd like to highlight something from original post, where you say "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". A new baby brings a huge amount of stress to a relationship. Even the most strong and healthy relationships get tested to extremes. And in the first few months you alone will go through so many changes and you need to be in a strong and safe place emotionally and physically to cope with this.

"On the days when I fail, as yesterday he rails and I cannot help but bite back." You will not have the energy to be the one holding up the relationship or carrying your husband emotionally once the baby arrives. His needs will need to take a huge backstep and I don't know, from what you've said, if he's going to cope with this or if you're going to cope with the guilt of having to put him second place.

"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". I feel worried for you that you are trying to fix a very unhappy situation when you should be focusing on yourself and your pregnancy.

Difficulties in a relationship can be a factor in post natal depression and that would be last thing you need! (I'm not saying it's the only factor, or reason, my marriage was in a good place when I had my first -don't want to sound like a smug married sorry! - but I was under close supervision by my midwife as I went a bit dolahlee in the first weeks, as I couldn't sleep through worry.)

Honestly for your health, your babies health and your marriage I wonder if taking some time out from your marriage for yourself and getting much needed support around you, in terms of family and counselling to get you to a better and stronger place to be able to see the wood from the trees. I don't know how possible this is but I really think you need to put the focus on you and your baby right now and for the first couple of months after they arrive.

Massive long post sorry! Sending many good thoughts to you smile

cuillereasoupe Thu 25-Jul-13 08:27:07

You need clarity and support, which you can't have when all this is in your face 24 hours a day. I agree that you should plan some time apart. Separation doesn't necessarily mean divorce - it means the space you need to build a safe emotional haven for your baby.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Jul-13 08:37:53

" I stood in front of everyone I've ever given a damn about and promised to love him and honour him for all time."

I heard a phrase just now relating to dysfunctional relationships where people stayed together just because they felt they had no option .... 'The Pride of Misery'. There is no pride in misery. You have options

saffronwblue Thu 25-Jul-13 08:47:11

Dear Op it is clear from your posts that you have a massive commitment to your marriage and are prepared to work hard to salvage it if possible. But what is the commitment of your H to the marriage? Is he prepared to demonstrate his love, and care for you over and over again? Wouldn't your late pregnancy be a time to show this in tender caring behaviour rather than ongoing haranguing and arguments? If not now, then when?

OP, this stress is so bad for your baby. Please get some space away from this man who should be cherishing you right now, massaging your feet, talking to your bump and making you tea, not haranguing you sad

NicknameTaken Thu 25-Jul-13 09:42:45

I love Kate's idea of planning now to go to your mum's for a couple of weeks when the baby is born.

Being followed around and harangued for six hours while pregnant is bad, but oh, believe me, being harangued for hours while you're crying and trying to feed and calm a wailing newborn is absolute hell.

Your child's babyhood is time that you'll never get back, and if you're simultaneously trying to pour energy and focus into trying to shore up a crumbling relationship, you're not doing your child justice.

Move out, or get him to do so. Give yourself space. You don't have to announce that the relationship is over, but he has to work damn hard to persuade you to go on with it. It sounds like you've done all the work in persuading yourself till now. He needs to decide if this marriage is something he wants, and he's got to do the work - you can't do it for him, leading by example. It doesn't work like that.

Xales Thu 25-Jul-13 10:03:09

As Glowbuggy says please get a full STI test for everything! If she has attempted this as many times as you think you don't know how many had sex with her.

You do know that your H had sex with her so has risked you and your baby. Condoms do not protect against everything.

cuillereasoupe Thu 25-Jul-13 10:29:39

I stood in front of everyone I've ever given a damn about and promised to love him and honour him for all time

Further to my post above, you don't actually need to be living with him to do that. My parents have been married for 47 years, and for a good 20 of that living apart, seeing each other when it suits them.

eccentrica Thu 25-Jul-13 12:14:16

I am so sorry for all you've gone through OP. Your head must be spinning.

I just wanted to echo all the other posters in saying none of this is your fault and everything is harder with a newborn.

I completely respect your take on wedding vows - but he clearly didn't have the same sincerity or good intentions as you.

Vowing to stick together through good and bad is a reciprocal commitment, it doesn't work if only one of you means it.

I'm sorry flowers

Chubfuddler Thu 25-Jul-13 13:24:31

When I left my husband he dared to ask me what about our wedding vows. I asked him if he thought they had meant I had to be better so he could be worse? He shut up.

schobe Thu 25-Jul-13 13:32:33

Omg I've read it all now. It was your fault for bringing the ow into your lives and for not picking up on 'subtle' hints that he was about to or had already banged her.

Poor, poor, poor you and now here you are desperately trying to take on his share of all the reparations. I am so sorry he's done and is doing this to you, especially while you are pregnant.

Re following you from room to room verbally attacking you, this is also so far from being excusable it's untrue either with or without the background. With the background, it absolutely unforgivable imo. I think by 'when we are both behaving' that you mean 'when I am behaving' in the way he thinks you should be. Ie the classic not throwing his appalling behaviour back in his face.

I think you need some space from him.

crazyhead Thu 25-Jul-13 13:56:54

Firstly, I'm really sorry you are going through this. It must be completely devastating to deal with being betrayed in your closest relationships. It must be very ironic to be pregnant after trying so hard, and for it to be bittersweet like this.

I'm pregnant at the moment too, and find it exhausting in my relatively simple situation (I feel vulnerable, hormonal massive mood swings, keep getting ill) so goodness knows how you are coping in your situation.

Nobody on these threads actually knows your husband so of course we can't tell you the bottom line about this. Apparently hopeless marriages sometimes survive, while apparently 'perfect' couples split - it comes down to a lot of things.

However I wonder if even you are in the situation to fully process what has happened yourself? I don't think I would be, right now, in your shoes.

Can you just take some time out for yourself? A nice holiday with a friend or family member, anything that would give you the chance to relax and get a sense of yourself outside of this awful situation again. Counselling if you are ready - but anything that gives you a break and builds up your confidence is good. I do think that you need to actually be able to be selfish right now and recuperate.

Sometimes you actually aren't in the place to mend or resolve or decide things and that has to be shelved for later. Are you in the space where arguments are going to get you anywhere? Whatever you feel your husband owes you or doesn't owe you, he surely owes you the space to recuperate and think straight?

If the ex-best friend has a child that's a couple of months old is there any chance that it could have been fathered by your DH?

Or was he just sleeping with her whilst she was pregnant?

Apologies if I'm the first to raise that suggestion.

Hope he's giving you some space OP.

cerealqueen Thu 25-Jul-13 14:55:40

What a awful time you have had a you sound like you are both in a terrible place now.

Bottom line....I don't think your DP wants the whole marriage and baby thing, he would be fighting a lot harder for you both if he did.

Mixxy Thu 25-Jul-13 17:54:17

Hadn't thought of that SueFlay.

Seems possible.

Jux Thu 25-Jul-13 18:51:01

SueFlay, that was my first thought! Whose child is the baby?

OP, while you are both living together there is o hope at all for your marriage - and your child will be stuck helplessly in the middle of it.

Your dh needs to leave, live in a bedsit alone until he's done sufficient counselling to relearn his behaviours and attitudes, so that he can be the man you deserve.

Meanwhile, you need counselling.

KateCroydon Thu 25-Jul-13 19:50:31

Thank you NicknameTaken.

Minifingers Thu 25-Jul-13 20:12:12

OP - when you become intensely stressed (as during an argument which involves you being harangued for hours on end) you produce catecholamines which affect blood flow to the placenta and fetal growth. Intense stress in pregnancy is linked to lower birth weight, preterm birth and PND in mothers. Please explain this to your DH or get your midwife to. For the sake of your baby you need NOT to be having regular, prolonged and intensely distressing confrontations with your husband. For the sake of your baby it needs to stop.

izchaz Sat 27-Jul-13 11:16:14

Shiiiiit! I've a lot of catching up to do in reading all your comments! Thank you all so much for taking the time to write, I promise I will read them all and pop some responses down. Life has become incredibly busy in the last three days, but I promise I will come back and respond. Watch this space!

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 11:19:51

smile <watches>

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sat 27-Jul-13 11:20:27

It really doesn't sound like its worth saving.

UnrequitedSkink Sat 27-Jul-13 11:36:12

From what I've read about sociopaths, they're often hard to spot because they're so good at what they do - they're devious and manipulative and often very very clever. They choose their 'victims' with care. Your friend, who has now been sectioned, presumably targeted you and your husband because she could see that she'd get a result. A stronger man - a man less likely to cheat - would have simply rebuffed her advances and told you about what was going on right from the start. That said, it's not impossible that he may have learned his lesson - it doesn't sound like he's a womaniser, more that he was/is weak.

The haranguing you, on the other hand, does NOT sound good. To me, that's worse, and I think he possibly needs anger management or methods of calling time out when there is conflict. Easier said than done though, I should know!

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 12:04:57

Very sadly, Skink, the only lesson he seems willing to learn is that he can get away with blaming everyone else. He says the OW 'made' him fuck her - apparently while pregnant, and while she claimed to be upset & vulnerable - and it was all OP's fault for introducing them!

Yes, that is weakness. It show zero sense of responsibility, empathy and compassion. He claims that other people are in charge of his body; his actions. He bullies his wife when she says she doesn't control him.

If you look at the above in isolation, he's acting as though he is the sociopath.

CheeseFondueRocks Sat 27-Jul-13 12:17:30

All your posts are just trying to justify his unacceptable behaviour when there is no justification.

Yes, married couples go through rough patches and manage to rebuild their relationships after affairs but you've only been together 2.5 years and he cheated for over 20% that time. Quite frankly, your relationship is lacking the history and basis to be able to be rebuild again. Rebuild what exactly? 19 months???? It wasn't ever a committed relationship in the first place.

izchaz Sat 27-Jul-13 21:25:39

Right, phew! Read everything, thank you again for all your input - many eyes see what two often miss!
kate your idea of planning to not be here when the baby comes is a stroke of genius were my mum not my mum... unfortunately the idea of spending more than a long weekend with her taxes my patience, two weeks post birth would surely result in graves dug and alibis constructed! However I do have a veritable army of very good friends I could go to, not to mention that our lodger was the best man at our wedding, has been my friend for longer than either of us has known DH, and would happily (and easily) pick him up by his bollocks and take him away for me if I asked (which is exactly what happened when this whole shit storm broke back in March). So, there are options, should it come to that.
Having spent the last few days doing long shifts at work I'm physically exhausted, but have had a great opportunity to think about what I want/need - who knew wiping arses could lend such clarity of thought? I have spoken at some length with DH, pointed out the shockingly stupid nature of his actions the other night and given him final warning: be a colossal cunt again and make your own way to the door.
I am pondering over how to implement a "safe word" type system for when one or other of us gets too hett up and is upsetting the other, I think it would be valuable to be given a clear signpost as to when to stop talking/de-escalate as the situation requires, so will give that some serious thought.
A number of you mention my commitment to my vows, yes, he's pissed all over his, but that doesn't mean mine also have to be widdle stained, and I fully expect him to wash his clean and pay attention to the from now on. When all of this erupted I spoke to my mum at length, as she dealt with my father's infidelities for many years when I was a child, her view is "put up and shut up", mine is most definitely not, but it is tempered with a patience I inherited that gives me the ability to know with a certainty I hope never to have to test that his affair was a one time (7 month) weakness. I meant every word of my vows, and standing across from him when he said his I know he meant his too, and that what followed was a twisting of those vows by an evil woman, preying on a weakened man, whom she had already primed to fail.
The baby is definitely not DHs - a) he is the spit of his biological father and b) DH had not met OW when she fell pregnant.
For those of you worrying about my sexual health, I had a full screen done the day I found out, and another a month ago, totally clear (thank the various gods of STDs)
I really want to address all the posts about DH not taking responsibility or blame for his actions, but I need a bit more time to formulate my thoughts on that one. (I'm also concerned twatphone will delete this opus rather than post it).

GoodtoBetter Sat 27-Jul-13 21:42:56

He fucked a mentally ill pregnant woman for SEVEN months almost immediately after your wedding and follows you around rowing and goading you when you are pregnant and you want to stay with him????? I just cannot get my head round that.
You can waffle on all you like about vows and make excuses for him and blame her for forcing him (what, to get an erection repeatedly and fuck her repeatedly for 7 months until he was caught) but the fact of the matter is he is a CUNT and he's not even sorry, no he's angry and blaming it all on you. It's YOUR fault apparently.
The mind boggles, it really really does.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 22:11:47

A mistake I have made, more than once, is trying to turn a bad partner into a good one. I'm fond of upcycling clothes & household things - treating a human being (and their relationship with me) as if they were a set of old chairs was extremely stupid. I insulted both myself and them.

I think that if the compatibility isn't there - and it isn't, if you have different approaches to your marriage - it is kinder and wiser to divorce, and seek more congruous partners. Your mother was wrong.

She is your most influential role model, however, and it's hard to break out of that. You haven't got to be a modified version of her, but believing it can be a bit of a hold-your-nose-and-jump act of faith. A good counsellor's invaluable in this respect ... and so is Mumsnet, as it shows you so many alternative models for relationships smile

You do sound a lovely person; I'm not surprised you've so many good friends! Tell us what this lodger bloke really thinks of your marriage?

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 22:14:51

Have you shown your lodger friend this thread?

GoodtoBetter Sat 27-Jul-13 22:15:56

I'm sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear, but I really think you are hoping for a magic solution, something you can fix nd the truth is he's just not a good man, he's not. And you are worth more and you're child is worth more. YOU can't fix him and he shows little sign of even recognising that HE should be fixing things, or indeed that he has broken them in the first place.

Thurlow Sat 27-Jul-13 22:15:57

I'm sorry, but the one thing that jumps out from that post is that you are doing what your mother did. It's almost as if because infidelity was part of your parents relationship, you seem more accepting of it in yours?

I really appreciate what you are saying about some things being an aberration and about letting your husband 'wash his vows clean' but... it's very hard to see how he is doing this, with the 6-hour rows and the continuing to put some blame on to you.

I don't have experience in this area, but the safe word sounds potentially good.

ThereGoesTheYear Sat 27-Jul-13 22:30:45

Even ignoring all the other shitty things he does, the deal breaker for me would be the fact that he is unable to take responsibility for his own actions. I cannot believe that he is making you feel in any way responsible for him fucking someone else. So neither of you saw how mentally ill she was but that's your fault? And you were meant to guess he was having an affair and lying to you but because you didn't you're to blame for it continuing? If he has no conscience of his own (there's a name for that) and you're responsible for keeping him on the straight and narrow you know this isn't going to end well.

You are pining for the man you thought you married. Do you think he really exists?

MadBusLady Sat 27-Jul-13 22:39:15

Well, that's another exhausting post full of what you've done and you've decided and said and what you intend to do in the future to save your marriage. I trust he graciously accepted this ultimatum, and understands that it involves him not shouting at you for hours again?

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 22:43:19

In my extensive experience, safe words don't work. All fine if you're working together on a shared communication problem, but my partners and yours are all about winning by overriding your feelings. I have another little story about this, but it concerns physical violence which isn't your issue. Give it a try, and see how long it is before he ridicules your safe word.

If you're looking for advice, here's mine: Don't cry, don't argue back, don't plead, don't agree for the sake of it. In short, practise breathing for peace and remain unruffled. Look vaguely interested. Don't interrupt. When he breaks for a reaction, feed back his assertions like Jeremy Paxman my idol. "You think I'm expecting too much, I see," "You feel I don't understand you," "Yes, it's late and you've had a hard day. You must be tired." Offer nothing back. This can prove most enlightening.

When he asks you for something during a rant - a cup of tea, forgiveness, a cuddle, an opinion - say no. Calmly and politely. This is a good workout for your patient assertiveness.

SimLondon Sat 27-Jul-13 22:43:52

Relate, relate, relate.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 22:48:29

What, Relate, so the moderator can accuse OP of 'castrating' her husband and failing to keep him sexually interested?? Nah.

Ezio Sat 27-Jul-13 22:52:04

Not Relate, jeez, the stories i've heard had my blood boiling, including one when a Relate counsellor effectively told a woman, her husband should be allowed to rape her.

CheeseFondueRocks Sat 27-Jul-13 22:55:47

I need to hide this thread now. I have never ever seen a woman so deluded on Mumsnet. Ever.

I wish you the best of luck, OP. You'll need it.

MadBusLady Sat 27-Jul-13 23:01:14

Repost of something Dahlen said right at the top of the thread:

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.

Which interestingly is what it seems your mother did, and what it seems you are doing with the safe word idea.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 23:17:16

Izchaz, have you heard of Transactional Analysis? Its developer, Eric Berne, would have loved your thread title. It's a game set-up. In TA, we're shown that all of our interactions follow scripted 'games'. These game scripts occur throughout our lives, in all aspects of life. Some of the games are highly dysfunctional and damaging.

Through a TA prism, you're in a three-handed game or drama triangle. Your mother, too has chosen a three-handed modus vivendi. It's hardly surprising you've perpetuated the pattern. You, your mother, and the men in your lives play the games "Now I've Got You, you Son Of a Bitch" (NIGYSOB) and "Kick Me" by turns. Because the game is three-handed, another third player will be along soon for you and H. In the meantime, one or both of you will stand in for that role as well - you're currently playing with Mad Friend as temporarily absent, but this will feel unsatisfactory.Here's [[http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0141040270/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0141040270&linkCode=as2&tag=deeplperso-21 the book. It's an easy read; I think everyone should have it.

The only way to stop a game is to step out of it. My 'calm as a cloudless sky' advice, above, is meant as a first step. It should help you to observe the game instead of joining in.

Xales Sat 27-Jul-13 23:17:50

A safe word for arguments! That is so fucked up I am gob smacked.

You left the room because you didn't want to argue. That is clear enough. He chose to follow and harass you for 6 hours.

A safe word is not for arguments.

It also puts the onus on you again to monitor and control him like he is a child who is incapable. Rather than realise that harassing a pregnant woman and verbally abusing her for hours it wrong (what does that tell you) he is making it your responsibility to stop him when he next does it.

He is taking zero responsibility for himself.

This is so sad. Good luck, you are going to need it!

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 23:19:37

Oh, FFS!!

Through a TA prism, you're in a three-handed game or drama triangle. Your mother, too has chosen a three-handed modus vivendi. It's hardly surprising you've perpetuated the pattern. You, your mother, and the men in your lives play the games "Now I've Got You, you Son Of a Bitch" (NIGYSOB) and "Kick Me" by turns. Because the game is three-handed, another third player will be along soon for you and H. In the meantime, one or both of you will stand in for that role as well - you're currently playing with Mad Friend as temporarily absent, but this will feel unsatisfactory.Here's the book. It's an easy read; I think everyone should have it.

garlicagain Sat 27-Jul-13 23:20:35

The third party, incidentally, plays a game called "Rapo".

Earthworms Sat 27-Jul-13 23:28:15

Oh. Op.

What everyone else said. You sound so lovely, so intelligent. But you are a 'fixer' you think you can fix things, people. Maybe you can , but should you? And at what cost?

Having a baby will affect even the strongest relationship, it fucked mine seven ways sideways.

We had a very slight imbalance within the relationship but nothing like what you describe . pre dc I drove and moderated things, he'd do/ say silly stuff and I'd step in to keep him on track.
But when you have a baby, you don't have time for that shit, you don't have energy to be the moral compass, or to say don't speak to me like that.

We nearly separated. We still might. I've lost a lot of respect for him that I may never get back.

What I'm trying to say is, this is hard work now, as things are. Throw a baby, pnd, post birth trauma into the mix, he is just the worst thing that could happen. He will take the piss every which way.

That post newborn time is so precious. You will never get it back. He will ruin it.

You don't have to ltb, but do take time out. Especially after the birth. Don't stay with him. Please.

Good luck. I hope it works out or you.

Thesunalwayshinesontv Sat 27-Jul-13 23:29:42

I'm no relationship expert, OP, but to me it sounds very much as though you are making a tremendous effort to make a square peg (your DH) fit into a round hole (what you need of a husband to make your idea of a marriage work). Are you sure, really sure, that your DH has thought as deeply or profoundly about what he believes a marriage should be?

You simply do not seem to be well-matched to your DH, and no amount of counselling you have will change that.

I fear that the only word to describe the huge efforts you are making, is futile. I'm so sorry.

NomNomDePlum Sat 27-Jul-13 23:46:23

so, i keep trying to imagine what it would be like to deal with a newborn while somebody was following me around verbally abusing me for six hours, and even the idea of it makes me want to cry. i think this scenario should be uppermost in your thoughts while you consider the future of your relationship - in the abstract it is easy to underestimate how hard the first few months of your child's life will be for you, but it is an immensely demanding time, and if you can limit other emotional demands on yourself during that time, it will make it easier.

bbqsummer Sun 28-Jul-13 00:31:51

Rapo, TA prisms.. it's all a bit Swiss Toni

garlicagain Sun 28-Jul-13 00:59:53

How did you know I had eggs??!

fromparistoberlin Sun 28-Jul-13 07:45:38

OP

my main worry for you, is that statistically you are in the "likely to get PND" category

sorry, but you are!

I 100000000000% think you need to get a good counsellor and focus on you, and keeping yourself strong

I can, and wont answer for your marriage

but you need to take the focus of HIM, and the marriage and think aboyt what you need to be able to cope with being a mom and staying strong

time after time I read that women with PND, suprise suprise, are in an abusive relationship

arguing all day, is not good for you OP

you cant change him, but you can get help for yourself to get you STRONG

good luck, my heart goes out to you XXXX

fromparistoberlin Sun 28-Jul-13 07:52:10

mum, not "mom". !!!

PramelaAndherson Sun 28-Jul-13 10:43:53

The OP is too intelligent, unfortunately, to read all these posts with true humility. She thinks she knows best and uses words and articulation to fight through the fog of bullshit which is her life. What the hell is a lodger doing there? Kick him out and kick that sociopathic husband out, too. I, too, am hiding this thread because I am losing all sympathy for this deluded woman.

Twinklestein Sun 28-Jul-13 11:17:16

A 7 month affair so soon after marriage is not merely an expression of weakness but that there is something fundamentally wrong with the relationship.

In order to be able to stay in the marriage you have needed to demonise the OW as 'evil', to exonerate your H. This a falsification of what occurred. However crazy you now believe her to be, he is as responsible as she. He was not a victim, he was a cheat.

Putting all the blame on the OW implies that you do fundamentally believe that infidelity breaks a relationship, and the only way to preserve it is to alter the facts.

Deceiving yourself is a dangerous strategy, and you must be prepared for the narrative you have created to fall apart.

There is difference between excusing your H and him actually repenting sincerely and redeeming himself.

You will be stuck in a situation where your conscious mind has chosen to forgive him, but in your heart you know that he has not fulfilled the conditions required for a genuine & thorough forgiveness.

You will be in constant conflict now between what you choose to believe, and what you know to be true.

You will thus fear further transgressions, and continue to be angry with him, not just for his affair, but because he is still behaving badly, and because he is, fundamentally, not the man you thought you had married.

It makes a great deal of sense to hear that your mother put up with multiple infidelities. You have learnt coping strategies for infidelities from her, whereby infidelity is not a deal breaker but something to be assimilated. And you have apparently inherited low expectations of men.

So the rows will continue, they will worsen after you give birth, and you will either a) put the baby first & get so furious with him that you end up chucking him out or b) he will be unfaithful again to put an end to the exhausting conflict. Or both.

A man who does not stop rowing with a woman because she is pregnant, and he is a decent person, is not going to stop simply because you say 'cheese'.

FuturePerfect Sun 28-Jul-13 11:24:16

Even the way you have phrased your thread title is desperately attempting to present you and your H as equal in this (3 attributes each, and both equally sad). However, making something satisfactory out of words is not the same as resolving the situation. It is just a story you are telling yourself, for reasons we cannot know, and that you are asking us to ratify. You say you need to take time in order to formulate responses to posters' questions - why? This is not a debating society, with points awarded for a well-turned phrase. You cannot control our opinions by careful rationing of information. Sadly, your arguments do not convince - and I think if you believed them yourself you wouldn't be asking these questions on this forum. Posters here have masses of advice and experience to share. I know it is hard to hear, but I really hope some of what previous posters have said will stay with you. Genuinely wishing you and your babe all the best.

SunshineBossaNova Sun 28-Jul-13 12:44:17

OP your posts make me really sad. It seems to me that you are shouldering a lot of blame for what your H did, when in fact he had choices all along.

Big hugs xxx

Isatdownandwept Sun 28-Jul-13 17:15:08

Please remember that you have choices about the family life your baby is brought up in but your baby does not. The faster you turn your back on this man, the less the negative impact it will have on that child, and th better the chance of you finding a better father for her quickly.

You may be unable to engage with the idea of leaving him now, but when it gets really bad (which by my reckoning will be when your baby is about 4-6 months old), remember that, and don't let your baby down. You may convince yourself that it is currently worth trying to rescue this at the moment, but when your DC has arrived and it descends into Hell and you find yourself supporting yourself, the baby, and by turns arguing and making up with him, and forever wasting emotional time, you will hopefully realise then that your baby deserves better, even if some reason you can't apply that logic to yourself.

I've asked for advice before and then found myself getting tied up in knots because i felt I hadn't explained it properly because the people whod responded didn't seem to understand, and it had all gone skewed and missed the point. It was only a couple of years later, when I looked back at the thread, that I realised that it was my perception that was so wrong and not everyone else's. it will,come to you too, and in the meantime please make sure you surround yourself with those good friends of yours because this is going to get so much worse when baby arrives, and you are on a journey that will involve a lot of pain somewhere down the line before you realise that you can't ignore the demons but need to face them head on.

fromparistoberlin Mon 29-Jul-13 05:23:43

"am hiding this thread because I am losing all sympathy for this deluded woman."

Pramela, I get your frustration but I find that post very harsh

this is a pregnant woman, who has ONLY just posted, give her time. she will learn, and make her own way. the fact she has posted here speaks volumes IMO

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 09:12:52

Jesus-H-Christ-on-a-remarkably-uncomfortable-bike! Right. Firstly, posters who referred to me as deluded, frustrating, and married to a cunt please don't bother posting any more you are drowning out the sensible advice framed in a way that doesn't make me want to throw things. How would you feel if your life were being torn to shreds by things you weren't even aware of? Wouldn't you at least try and stop the damage? I don't have the necessary "abandon ship" attitude required to go "my marriage is broken, I'm less than a year married and pregnant, I have nowhere to jump to, but I'll just jump, some fucker will catch me". If I do leave it will be under my terms, at a point of my choosing, and I will walk out with my back straight, knowing I have tried, and that I failed. Anything less than that will haunt me all the days of my life.
Secondly, the emotional blackmailers telling me to think about my coming child and get out before "hell/PND" strikes when the child comes. Thank you, but I am painfully (literally, most days) aware of this impending child, how it will change the power dynamic again, and what I risk by delaying. I also know me, know what I am capable of, and what I am not. I can't leave until I've tried, otherwise what was the point of getting married? I genuinely feel I risk a greater chance of depression by abdicating any input in my marriage than I do of leaving it post birth. I am neither stupid, nor unaware of the damage abuse of any sort does in relationships, nor will my child be put at risk... ugh, I am flabbergasted by some of the responses since my last post. What is so wrong with wanting to try? It's not like he's a pair of old socks for fucks sake, this is something we both work to repair every single day. Of course I can't tell you his thinking, because it's his thinking, I could go into the minutiae of how he shows me he's doing better, I could tell you how his mother's worsening health and the pressure she puts on him would crack a Titan's will towards calm and rationality. But I doubt any of that would help you perceive him better. He made a colossal mistake, huge, potentially marriage ending, but every day he tries harder than any person I've ever seen to fix what he did, to rebuild my trust and to better himself. He slips from time to time, and when he does I want to be able to help him, which was iirc the basis of this post.

All the people who have written kind, thoughtfully worded comments of support or gentle cynicism: Thank you. You have been listened to, I have taken on board what you've said and will try and build a plan out of it

Garlic I will have a gander at that book, it sounds like an interesting play on game theory, which I've always found fascinating as a whole.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Jul-13 09:25:34

"How would you feel if your life were being torn to shreds by things you weren't even aware of? Wouldn't you at least try and stop the damage?"

I did once. I tried to save a relatively new marriage against a backdrop of lies, infidelity and emotionally abusive behaviour. I also thought I was doing the right thing, taking vows seriously and committing to the relationship. However, what I want to share with you is that 'trying' in this situation will leave you feeling demeaned and cheap. You will be the supplicant and he will be dominant. All the time you 'try' to hold things together he will exploit your unwillingness to walk and interpret it as approval of his behaviour. Your self-esteem - which is already badly damaged - will be crushed, even after he's gone. You will look back on this episode of your life and wonder 'why did I tolerate it?'

I think I and others are simply trying to save you from a few years/months heartache.

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 09:34:51

Thank you for clarifying that Cogito, what you say makes absolute sense, and I can understand your approach. What I struggle with is calling him a cunt (that's my job, no one else gets to do that) and saying that I'm frustrating (I am frustrated, I haven't felt so out of kilter in a long time, I look to correct to the norm before I make decisions for the future)

I don't feel demeaned or cheap I have to say, I feel....driven, and not by him, or by my pride - I want this to succeed not because I don't want to have "a failed marriage" (stupid hateful phrase), but because I think we are both better than this, and we are both capable of moving past this.
He knows I dont approve of his behaviour, he has witnessed sides of me he didn't even know existed prior to March, and they have all revolved around my shrieking dismay and grief over his actions. He is absolutely aware now of what he risks by pissing me about again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Jul-13 09:47:15

"He is absolutely aware now of what he risks by pissing me about again."

But you don't seem to be aware of what you're risking by keeping this man in your life. Right now I can understand why you feel you have the whip hand, are in control and 'woe betide him' if he messes you about again but I fear a few things. One is that you are kidding yourself that by sticking around this makes you the stronger party.... you're mistaking 'hysterical bonding' for 'choice'. The second is that this euphoric feeling of control/victory/keeping it together will wear off very quickly and that one day - soon- you'll wake up and realise that you actually despise him

Ezio Mon 29-Jul-13 09:49:08

I think what others are getting at izchaz, he needs to bear the weight of his actions, he chose to cheat, he needs to accept and understand the consequences of his choices, you have the cards in this and he has to prove to YOU, that he knows what hes done and it wont be tolerated.

He shouldnt be constantly picking at a pregnant woman for 6 hours, to me that says hes using your vulnerability to push for forgiveness.

You need to stop trying to take the blame for his choices, you didnt make him cheat, nor did the other woman.

Forget him for a moment, and work on your self esteem, expections and what you will and wont tolerate, you dont have to accept him being unfaithful in your marriage, if its your deal breaker, then break the deal, right now its your choice alone to make, he has no right in deciding that now.

But stop convincing yourself hes sorry, because hes only sorry for himself, otherwise he wouldnt be goading you into fights, that is NOT what a sorry
man does.

Glowbuggy Mon 29-Jul-13 09:52:41

It's still gross, he fucked a mentally ill pregnant woman in the first year of your marriage. I don't think posters are blackmailing you, they feel sorry for you, and your baby. Because this is going to end badly. It's disgusting and really fucked up. You can't see it, because you are desperate for it to work. But I would think that most posters commenting on your story really feel for you. And it's heartbreaking. Best if luck to you. Nobody deserves this.

themidwife Mon 29-Jul-13 09:58:07

I might have missed this OP but it sound like he was having an affair with your best friend at the time you actually got married or straight after. Why? Usually at the very point people marry is when they are most in love & sure about being together "forsaking all others". A "mistake" usually occurs way down the line after the relationship has soured or become boring or weakened somehow. I know what you mean about wanting to do everything you can to feel you have given it your best shot especially with a baby coming but I really think you need proper couples therapy to explore why he was having an affair at that time & why he is so angry at you that he rails at you for 6 hours at a time (shouldn't you be resting?!!) He had the affair not you. Why is he so angry with you? I feel you're over compensating for him & making excuses for him. He should be walking over hot coals to put this right not screaming at you half the night!

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 10:01:58

Right, I think I need to clarify here - we've had one six-hour fight, so to say that "he keeps" goading me into huge fights isn't accurate. We bicker, sometimes that bickering becomes a vicious, the advice I sought on here was about how to stop the spiral of bickering. We have never fought the way we did the other night, it was horrific, but it is by no means a signifyer of what is normal for us. I agree that if it were normal I would be the worst sort of stubborn fool for staying, but it isn't at all representative. When we fight normally one of us walks away to let the other party cool down - that is about 50/50 in terms of who walks when. He is contrite, he doesn't harangue me every day, or even every week, or every month. We have fought badly once.
I didn't make him cheat, I didn't force them to collude, I didn't give either of them the "go ahead" for an affair, I don't feel quilty or responsible for what they did. That is on them, I do however bear some responsibility to not throw my broken toy out of the pram. I choose to stay, that doesn't necessitate choosing to take responsibility for what they did, I cannot see how one could possibly link the two.
Deal breakers for me are emotional infidelity, physical violence and failure to learn from mistakes. I don't believe that all of the damage wrought can be undone in 4 months, so of course I expect there to be some bumps and fights and hurt feelings, I'm not expecting miracles here!

Sorry, I'm starting to get really angry. I will be back once I've been out and kicked a rock and sworn at a pigeon.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Jul-13 10:07:43

"emotional infidelity"

I hope you haven't told him this one. Because he will interpret it as carte blanche to fuck who he likes, just as long as he never gets emotionally attached. Very dangerous message....

Glowbuggy Mon 29-Jul-13 10:12:07

I think Cogito, he already believes he can.....

Thurlow Mon 29-Jul-13 10:38:22

I'm sorry you are getting angry, OP, and I don't blame you because some very blunt things have been said on this thread.

But the posters are right to say those blunt things.

Yes, everyone has different dealbreakers within a relationship and yes, some people will find emotional infidelity far worse than sexual infidelity. That's your personal choice.

However I'm really interested to see that you don't believe a 7 month affair constitutes emotional infidelity. A one night stand - yep, that can be viewed as purely fucking and nothing else. But a long affair? With someone close to you? I am genuinely interested to understand how that was emotional infidelity for you.

Also, I asked before - how does your husband feel about the baby? Have decisions been made yet about finances, childcare etc?

The reason some posters are being very blunt is that from an outsiders perspective - and it is up to you whether you feel those perspectives are helpful or valid (though bear in mind it is often easier to take an overview of something when you are not involved) - your husband has done something very, very wrong/offensive/whatever word you want to use, and your description of your parents marriage also waves a ridiculous number of red flags around.

lemonstartree Mon 29-Jul-13 10:47:37

do you not believe he was 'emotionally unfaithful' to you when he fucked another woman, repeatedly during the first year of your marriage ?

themidwife Mon 29-Jul-13 10:54:24

That other woman being your best friend too?!! The worst possible emotional betrayal (apart from maybe your sister) in my mind.

I think you're angry because you're not getting the answers you want, ie how to help your husband not be angry about being caught out shagging your best friend for the first 7 months of your marriage whilst also conceiving a baby with you. I don't think anyone can help you with that.

We can however sympathise with your betrayal, hand hold & support you in coping with your grief & pregnancy.

freeandhappy Mon 29-Jul-13 11:09:05

Can you explain what he is angry about?

freeandhappy Mon 29-Jul-13 11:10:42

Also, is his mother now going to take the place of OW in the game? It's her fault he is being bad tempered. Another unreasonable woman forcing him to behave badly?

Anger is good. But you are projecting it onto posters here rather than your husband.
I get it. My H cheated and I tried to rationalise it and 'move past it' but he wasn't really contrite either. 4 months in I was still checking his phone and finding him with 'find my iPhone' and fantasising about giving the OW an almighty bollocking (ie I was still deep in the drama and denial stage). I can't imagine how fucked up I would have been if I had been pregnant.

I think we all just want you to see what we already know, through experience, but of course you won't, until you have lived it. I really hope you can use this thread as a place to work through your feelings and don't get goaded into abandoning it.

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 11:49:43

Have been out, sworn at some pigeons (neighbour was like hmm ) and have reigned in the pregno-temper. My apologies for getting wound up, I know you're offering sound advice, tempered with experience, my frustration comes from my failure to give you an accurate picture of him (I've told you the big bad, but not the small, consistent lovely heartwarming kindness), and from the frankly rude way some posters have approached the thread.

Thurlow sorry to have missed your earlier question: he is over the moon about the baby, like "kid at Christmas" excited, he can barely contain himself, and not because he thinks the child is going to fix our marriage, but because we have both wanted this child for a very long time, and will love it regardless of our marital state. You are right to say he has done a heinous thing, and that the timeframe for his betrayal beggars belief, I'm not saying the posters are wrong, just that it is hard to swallow and I am disinclined to listen to anyone (DH/forum poster) when they are prepared to be so callous and rude.

I am going to have to go into more detail here in order to explain why I don't believe he has been emotionally unfaithful. Ugh, it's going to muddy the waters. Can I ask you all to suspend your disbelief for the purposes of clarity here? Just accept this as an accurate story and we'll go from there, otherwise this will all get deeply confusing and I will probably throw my (very expensive) phone at a(n unsuspecting) cat/wall/lodger/dog.

I've just written a huge timeline, detailing everything, but have had to delete it because it was like a spotlight revealing exactly who I am to anyone who might be looking (painfully aware I've probably already said too much)
Suffice it to say I can't explain or justify his behaviour or my faith in him on here without making way too much stuff about her,him and me public.

What I think I can say is that they didn't have a lot of sex, (not that that is likely to make a blind bit of difference to how you view him), that she initiated all of it (but that he's not innocent) and that she chased him and chased him (and that I encouraged him to spend time with her, believing her to be lonely and stuck in a truly awful marriage) emotionally blackmailing him with threats of what she would tell me if he came clean (with hindsight I can see that on numerous occasions he did try and tell me). This is not me taking blame for what they did, but you may have noticed I don't tend to listen to things if I don't like what I'm hearing, so when he tried to tell me he didn't want to spend time with her, and that she made him uncomfortable I just asked him to suck it up - she was a lonely woman trapped in an abusive marriage and very dependent due to a rough pregnancy.

free he is angry because he knows he has risked everything for something he didn't even want - his anger is almost exclusively self directed, I only see glimmers of it when he has been pushed to the absolute limits, as he was last week with his mother's terminal illness, a crappy piece of news from work, several other balls failing to juggle nicely and a few incidentals. All in all I very rarely see this anger, he is furious with himself, angry with her, and I think frustrated that he can't unpick it as fast as the damage was done. His mother won't be a player in any games for very long at all, sadly, which makes things worse, because he grieves for her as well as for what he feels he has broken.

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 11:59:18

Ehric I'm sorry you've been through the mill too. This is going to sound perverse, but I don't feel the need to check his phone, or track his movements, because I know a) she set it up (and believe me when I say I'm not demonising her, I spent a good deal of time talking to her, visiting her in psych units, speaking to her husband and her psych team, and we all (except for her) reached the same conclusion - she set the whole thing up) b) he won't ever make that mistake again (which isn't to say he won't make a different flavour of mistake, but he won't have an affair again)

I don't dream of bollocking anyone, I have nightmares about her stealing my family (literally cutting my child out of me), and I dream about finally getting to be happy the way we were before we met her.

I know that what my parents lived through has probably thrown up ALL the red flags, but again there are mitigating circumstances I won't go into on here. I had counselling for an unrelated issue many years ago, and my odd family unit came under the spotlight, my counsellor felt that I had made a good adjustment to it all, and that although it had coloured my approach to relationships, they didn't feel it had negatively impacted that approach.

saffronwblue Mon 29-Jul-13 12:12:11

Izchaz I hope you are able to take what you need from the advice here. To those of us not in your marriage it is hard to see where your husband's commitment is. It is great that he is positive about the baby but, as I said upthread, even putting aside(!) the affair, now is the time for him to be cherishing you and minimising your stress. Being a husband, in fact. He should be thinking every day - What does she need - how can I make her day easier - not showing the mix of grumpiness and resentment that you have described.
After the baby arrives you will both have huge emotions, sleep deprivation, visitors to juggle and you will have post birth exhaustion and raging hormones. You need to be able to be civil to each other and even supportive during this time so that you can both share the euphoria.
Maybe try a conversation with him where you don't go back to the affair but talk calmly about what you, his wife, need now from him.

chaosagain Mon 29-Jul-13 12:15:13

Izchaz - you're going through hell and I'm sorry it's all such incredibly difficult stuff.

I have a lot of admiration for your determination to work at it, not give up and try really hard to see a positive way forward. A few comments and/or observations that I hope might be constructive:

Positive focus and thought is great and useful. You need to be clear, though, about finding the positive within what is the bare truth and make sure you're not refusing to look or deal with stuff that is fundamentally important because to do so doesn't leave you being positive. So, to summarise; be positive but don't let that blind you to dealing with the dark and difficult that needs processing.

Seven months is a long time to keep making the same mistakes and not find a way out.

Any anger/blame at you at all (alongside the blame and anger he feels about himself) may indicate that he's not taking full responsibility, even if he's taking some.

It's always easier for the partner who has been cheated on to lay lots of blame at the door of the person their partner had an affair with. All her manipulation, chasing etc came from some level of insecurity/desperation/pain/vulnerability on her part.

That he believed her emotional blackmail would hold more sway with you than his own account is worrying. If his reason for not talking to you was this, then it isn't a great testament to his assessment of your trust in him.

You sound incredibly smart, loving, motivated and in many respects, self aware. I know the pregnancy brings a feeling of time pressure, but don't be afraid to take space to work things out too. Sometimes it's only by stepping away that we see things clearly. You are well within your rights to ask him for more space and distance to help you.

If I were you, I'd be trying to boil it down to the core and key questions and answer those. Yours may be different, but I'd imagine mine might be:
- Can I forgive his infidelity?
- Can I forgive his lack of faith in my trust in him? Why didn't he think I'd believe him over her re the emotional blackmail stuff?
- As much as I love him and want to be positive, can my trust be fixed? Completely fixed where I'll never worry about this happening in any form again? Can I trust him to be 'manipulated' and be strong enough to walk away?
- Will he ever move past in part giving me responsibility for his affair and take full, 100% responsibility for it himself?
-Is he prepared to take all my insecurities, worry and anger and absorb them? Is he prepared to work it all through without resenting me?
- Can there be a time where this isn't the big issue in the room and we've all moved on?
- Will I be able to be intimate with him without thinking about the affair?

My experience of having babies is that they can put a great deal of strain/pressure on a relationship so think through what that period may be like for you. For all your positivity, can you be in good enough shape together to get through that period?

Wishing you all the very best with whatever the road ahead brings..

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 12:26:32

Izchaz, you are honoured - after weeks of lurking on this site, I've registered specially to post this message.

Regardless of how much sex you think they had, and regardless of how much you believe she initiated all of it and set it all up, you cannot make a man who does not want you have sex with you for seven months, particularly if that man has just got married. Believe me, in my time I've tried luring men away from their girlfriends (not something I am proud of) and it never, ever worked. A man who is committed to his partner will not have sex/an emotional affair for seven months just after marriage.

He did this all by himself. He wanted to. He stood up and said vows to you in front of witnesses, and then ignored those vows because he wanted sex with your friend.

freeandhappy Mon 29-Jul-13 12:29:02

Well it sounds like you have forgiven him and feel sorry for him having been taken advantage of. It sounds unlikely but ok if you say so. You are both looking forward to the baby coming, you have no concerns that he will ever cheat again, he is heartwarming lay kind and consistently loving an isn't angry with you, so the only prob is that he is angry with himself because he risked losing you. But as he hasn't lost you...eh well what's he still angry about? Life does keep coming at you ie parents die, careers/work present challenges etc and it gets progressively more complicated as your family grows. Is this man adequate? Or does he always have some excuse to e moody sulky and blame everyone else and it's just not fair? As I have said to you before, be very wary about stepping in to understanding & loving mummy mode with anyone other than your own child. Can you see how nobody else but you feels sorry fr a man who was tricked by a mentally ill woman, a friend of his wife's, into fucking her (no emotional attachment to her), while she was pregnant? Is he mentally ill himself? Does he generally have extremely poor judgement? Does he have problems empathising with women without wanting to fuck them better? Is he scared of you? How did you discover thy they had been having sex?

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:32:08

There's nothing you can say that any of us is going to understand in terms of your mentally ill best friend throwing herself at your husband and him being somehow unable to resit and you being to blame for putting them together - confused

And how does it matter how many times they had sex - she initiated it every time - it takes two love, one person can't do it on their own.

I think if I was you and wanted to stay married I'd be insisting he gets counselling as he clearly is unable to control himself, if this is the behaviour he is displaying at the beginning of your marriage - I hope he is worth it and it does work out for you both.

Of course he has lovely bits. You we wouldn't try so hard to get past the shit if they didn't have lovely bits! Only time will tell if that's enough.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 12:37:06

one person can't do it on their own

Oh I don't know, I manage it quite well...

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 12:38:00

But yes, if you are sure about continuing, he needs to get help. Dipping one's wick in the first months of marriage is not what you'd call positive or normal behaviour.

Wuxiapian Mon 29-Jul-13 12:58:04

I've no advice to impart, but I wish you strength to get through this - with or without him.

springytoto Mon 29-Jul-13 13:14:32

You're being a bit bossy OP. You make it clear what you want to hear and everyone else can fuck off. What gives you the right to order everyone around?

I wonder if you're quite bossy all round in that you seem determined to carve out the relationship you want, regardless what you're using as raw material. Whatever, it's your creation and you won't accept otherwise, despite the overwhelming evidence. Which you snap at people to shut up about becuase you don't. want. to. hear.

I've been on the receiving end of a psychopath and I can attest that they do indeed suck the life and goodness out of everything, like a dementor. They're kind of black. So, even though your story sounds far-fetched, I can see that having one of these life-stealers in your orbit can cause serious damage.

But I just don't buy what your husband has done. I just don't buy it, sorry. He has cheated on you and that's that.

I'm not a psychologist but this was intersting: I spoke to my mum at length, as she dealt with my father's infidelities for many years when I was a child, her view is "put up and shut up", mine is most definitely not . Erm. Er. Well.... well, you are putting up and shutting up. Or you're shutting everyone else up, let's say. You are accepting what he has done and the very strange reasons he uses for doing it. But no, you will have what you want!

If I may just say, without checking the list of acceptable points and unacceptable points one is allowed to make, that, while you are tipping the light fantastic with this high drama, your baby is being treated to the heightened adrenalin and emotion. You say you'll get this sorted by the time the baby comes out (and people have suggested you may want to rethink that - but you knew that already, silly!) as if the baby isn't pretty viable as it is. not going to get into one of those arguments but you need to be calm ffs - the poor thing had to hear that 6-hour marathon.

Please stop getting narked that people 'don't understaaaaaaand'. I think a lot of people do, actually. Please, just move out, move apart, be calm in your pregnancy, take this whole shit down a notch, or ten.

Greatdomestic Mon 29-Jul-13 13:16:49

Hi OP, I've posted a couple of times upthread.

You do seem intent on trying to find solutions to his anger/behaviour and haven't wavered from this viewpoint since your initial post. But you can't be his wife and is counsellor.

Life throws all sorts of shit at us be it job loss, breavement etc. He needs to find ways to deal with these ideally through counselling. From the timelines you have indicated, it looks like he will be processing the birth of his child and loss of his mother at around the same time. That is lot to deal with.

Good luck for the future.

Thumbwitch Mon 29-Jul-13 13:18:10

Izchaz - I have read most of this thread, all of your posts and most of the comments.

I am not going to comment on your choice re. your marriage but I am going to say one thing about your feelings and you may or may not agree with it.
I have doublechecked and see you got pregnant AFTER you discovered the affair, so obviously you had very strong feelings about it when it happened - but I'm slightly concerned that your feelings are now somewhat less than they would be if you were not pregnant.

I'll explain - I was 19 weeks pregnant when my Mum died of cancer. We had 8 days notice that she was terminal, although she was in hospital for 4w before she died - we think she wouldn't let them tell us earlier because I got married 10 days before she died (we had to visit her in hospital on the day). Anyway, my point is - MY MUM DIED. While I was pregnant. And I wasn't as sad as I felt I should be; I was sad of course but it just didn't rip me up as much as I expected it would, as much as it had when my Nanna died some years previously. It felt almost as though my pregnancy was protecting me in some ways from the shock and stress of the bereavement.

And that's my point - I worry for you that you may not be experiencing the full extent of your emotions, because you are pregnant. And that when you have your baby, those emotions might come back in full force...

Of course, my experience of damped-down emotions might be unique to me - but I just wanted to drop a little warning in your ear in case it isn't.

JustinBsMum Mon 29-Jul-13 13:19:31

OP, you say your mother suffered serial infidelities. Also you say something about your DH being stressed and manipulated (or words to that effect) by his DM, also she is ill I think which makes things worse. This makes me think that you are both carrying a lot of baggage from your childhoods which might be influencing how you are behaving in the present. And are possibly acting out your feelings about that disguised as 'dealing' with the issues you both have now.
You childhood can also influence who you decide on for a partner.
Perhaps both going individually to counselling might help look into this.
I see you were told that you had come to terms with these things previously but being pregnant etc can reawaken feelings.

prettybird Mon 29-Jul-13 13:20:11

I remember reading somewhere (might have been the "60 Second Father" or the "60 Second Parent" - I read the former to help understand and support dh) that it takes less than 60 seconds to "save" a marriage from an affair.

...in that, you have the choice at the beginning, at the point that the affair starts: "is giving in to the temptation worth the <insert number of years of relationship> of my marriage/relationship?"

Your dh had a choice. Unless he is prepared to look honestly at himself and why he "gave in" hmm, your relationship doesn't appear to look like it has a future and you are wasting your effort. To use a cliche, you are thrwoing good money after bad.

You can't do that for him - he has to want to do it, not just for you but also for himself, so that he can understand why he chose to jeopordise his marriage, as presumably, when you decided to get married, you did both think you loved each other hmm

FoxyRevenger Mon 29-Jul-13 13:20:52

OP: "DH, you must spend time with Friend, she's having a hard time"

DH: "No way, she tried to come on to me once. Never again."

End of story.

This is bullshit: "with hindsight I can see that on numerous occasions he did try and tell me"

He tried? What happened? Tongue get caught in something? Was he suddenly rendered mute?

Honestly, OP, you can't keep excusing all of this nonsense, it will get you nowhere but in the shit.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 13:20:56

While I'm sticking my tuppence worth in - having a baby, however much looked forward to - is far more life-changing than you can know. You simply don't know what it's like. And I'm not saying that to be superior, you don't know. Once that baby is out of your vag, life changes beyond measure.

If you are not with a partner who can go through this life-changing event in a supportive way, you will be in trouble. And so will the baby.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 13:28:44

Sorry, not sure if you can edit things you have already posted. What I mean is, if you are with a partner who will not be able to support you practically and emotionally when you have a baby, you would be better off on your own. Then you just have you and the baby to deal with.

Thurlow Mon 29-Jul-13 13:31:46

I'm sure it must be a bit difficult listening to so many people say "but, but, the first few months of having a baby are so hard" - I used to hate it when people said things like "oh, but you get a baby at the end of sickness/labour etc, it's all worth it!". But the thing is, it really is hard. It can rock even the most solid relationship right to its core. And that's one of the reason why people are so worried about you.

This is a man who, while currently stressed, thinks it is acceptable to harangue you for 6 hours about minor things. Now you say this has never happened before, and it quite possibly hasn't. But if this is his response to being stressed now, what will his response be when neither of you have slept properly in months, and your baby has colic? Or when he's doing all the housework and all the cooking and getting no attention from you because you have a baby that wants to feed every 2 hours and will only sleep on you? Dealing with all that is hard enough without the underlying problems caused by his affair.

Going back to your OP, you want to know about turning the negatives into positives etc. Despite you saying that, I still feel rather vague about what you want from this thread - you don't want people to see LTB and aren't happy with posters who say that - but what do you really want? Forgiveness? Carte blanche to forget that everything bad happened?

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 13:37:56

And you might, and I'm not being a doom-monger, get PND after the birth. Or just feel shit. Anaemic. You might have mastitis (that's always good fun). You might have really painful wounds - either up your fanjo or your tummy. And birth changes how you feel about your body. All sort of things are happening after you give birth. So you need a good, stable person with you, or none at all, in my view.

TotallyBursar Mon 29-Jul-13 14:29:27

What I think some people are trying to say is:

You haven't got a marriage rocked by betrayal and infidelity, you never had a marriage in the first place because of that. Or rather you had a marriage with only you in it. So what you are asking is an impossibility - you can't rebuild a relationship that was existing only in your own head.

What you can do is build something else, something honest, something using solid foundations. But not alone. And not before the poison is dug out of the wound so it can heal untainted and without the ability to fester.
Sometimes a structure is so damaged it needs to be torn down, raised to the ground so it can be rebuilt rock solid.
It's like the garden spade - it's my grandfather's spade, it's had a few new handles and a new head but it's still my grandfather's spade. Do you have a spade? Can you replace the handle or head and still have the same thing? It doesn't seem so, but what do I know?

What you are trying to do, in limited time, is play the short game, the magic fix (and it isn't guilting to consider a newborn in amongst this). You have failed to take key things into account.
If you want to stay and fight (!), as is your choice, you still have to play the long game and look at the bigger picture, because there will never be a time after superficial reconciliation where this goes away. It will come back and kick you square in the teeth just as you think you are ok. Playing the short game doesn't show you quick resolution, if it will work, if there is a life to be built - it scuppers the chance of those things. It uses wallpaper paste and blind hope to hold together foundations of sand.
Only by doing the painful work now - moving away from each other, counselling and some insightful thinking over a prolonged period of time (usually much longer than the time the betrayal lasted) will you see what you have to work with.
You talk a lot about you, you may have to realise that even if he does this it won't be to your schedule - it is yet more loss of control. You may find that the separation shows the truth and he never comes back - if you can't take that leap of faith the other things you do are not faith, they are fear.

That is the closest you will ever get to a magic pill, there is no easy way through something like this - sometimes realising that is what it takes to digest the scale of the devastation.
Garlic makes excellent points, but I'm not as fancy or eloquent - I do know a leopard when I see one though.

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 14:39:41

Saffron - thank you for understanding my difficulty in hurrahing over what you are all saying, it's hard to listen to. He does try to minimise my stress, but then I don't know of anyone who's had a stress free pregnancy, so far we have had a major house move, news of MIL's extreme ill health, the trauma to our marriage, me changing job, DH potentially being faced with changing job, my feelings of betrayal and grief over my friend who turned out to be anything but, and my boiling rage over the whole thing. We have not had an easy time, but consistently he has been as supportive and positive as he can be - for the past week I've had wonky blood pressure, and he's been brilliant at looking after my physically and mentally (outwith the argument, obviously). He can be crap, but he tries very hard not to be, and he does apologise when he has been crap.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 14:50:27

This is from your original post, izchaz

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

That doesn't sound very supportive. When you have the baby, who is going to "keep him afloat"? Who is going to keep you afloat?

GoodtoBetter Mon 29-Jul-13 14:53:45

You are making excuses for him, endless excuses. I understand why, you are desperate to fix things, to get back to what you thought you had before you got married, but you can't.
He decided to have sex with a mentally ill woman for 7 months when he was newly married to you. And then he said it was your fault. You can go round and round with the excuses but that's what it comes down to. He did it and you can't fix it on your own. You're getting angry at people for saying the truth because it hurts and it's not what you want to hear, but you can't fix this on your own and as fast as you want to.
You need some distance from him and some time and you need to stop fixing things. He needs to be making the running. Although, personally i think you should run very fast away from him. Nothing you have said makes me think any better of him than I did in your first post. I feel for you though, I do. You deserve more.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 14:59:22

I think you are getting pigeon-kickingly angry with us because we won't validate your view of him, your view of your marriage, and your view of your future with him.

If a man can cheat on you with your (then) best friend, who is mentally unwell, for over half of your newly-married life, can you honestly, hand on heart, say he won't do it again? This was the honeymoon period - he should have been having sex with you lots and lots and lots and loving you and praising all the gods in heaven that he was lucky enough to marry you. Instead he stuck himself in your sick friend, repeatedly, and then whined that you shouldn't have introduced them, you should have worked out what was happening. Because, of course, you made him stick his willy in her. In his head.

When life gets rocky, and it might well do once the baby is there and if neither of you have much money coming in and his mum is sick, HE WILL FUCK SOMEBODY ELSE. Because that, it appears, is what he likes to do.

There isn't much positive to say about that negative.

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 15:04:21

Sorry, posted too soon there!
Saffron - im very aware of what's to come, which is why I'm trying hard now (with his help) to set good groundwork in place, so that constant sniping isn't a habit by the time the baby comes. It's all too easy a habit to fall into, and I'm anxious to avoid it. We do sit and talk about what we need from the other, specifically what I need from him, and it is all about support. But then that's a two way street, I don't want to be some sort of leech, sucking all his positive juju away, so I give back too.

Chaos - 7 months is a very long time, but from what I have been able to glean (it's a very muddy puddle and I prefer not to rake over the details with DH) the gaps between encounters got greater and greater, and she began to spiral, becoming more and more unstable and making greater threats every time he said "no". That at least is patently obvious from her behaviour looking back, so I think he was desperately trying to extricate himself.
You make a very good point about his faith in me - he could see (and I certainly couldn't) how much she had me in her thrawl, I have always firmly believed that you don't question a woman when she tells you she has or is experiencing abuse or assault, be that physical, verbal, emotional, financial, interpersonal or whatever, and I felt desperately that I needed to support her. I would have had a hard time accepting what he was saying, because it would have meant going against so much of what I was throwing my energy at. In fact, part of the reason I'm so determined to keep working at my marriage is because I stopped listening to my gut when it came to her: it was telling me something wasn't right, but I wouldn't listen because there was my friend in real danger as far as I was concerned. As I turned out my gut was right, and my gut is now telling me "stick with him, he's better than he has behaved, he is worth the effort".
I very much like the way you break down the problems we face (you and I clearly think along similar lines) and the answer to almost all of them is "time will tell, but I can live with the wait".
Thank you for the good wishes.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 15:08:24

His behaviour is telling you what he is like. You say he tried desperately to extricate himself from the arms of SickFriend, but why did he insert himself in her to start with? Surely that was the point at which to extricate himself.

GoodtoBetter Mon 29-Jul-13 15:18:31

Your "gut" tells you to stay because you love him and are having his baby and because your parents relationship taught you to accept infidelity. It doesn't mean it's a feeling you should trust. He isn't the man you want him to be. He will fuck someone else. If he can spend 7 whole months fucking your pregnant, mentally ill, vulnerable FRIEND when he'd just married you, what on earth makes you think he won't fuck someone else? It'll be your fault then too...you're too tired, he feels pushed out because of the baby. sad

GoodtoBetter Mon 29-Jul-13 15:19:45

He is telling you who he is...but you don't want to hear it.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 15:20:37

It seems obvious from your responses that you aren't going to engage with anything that we say if it doesn't support your goals. Good luck then. As others have said, you are going to need it. By the truckload.

crunchbag Mon 29-Jul-13 15:21:45

Sorry OP but however you phrase it, it still comes down to you making excuses for him. He was manipulated by OW and his mum, you have even started taking some responsibility by saying you asked him to spend some time with her. Even the fight, you are downplaying it by saying it 'only' happened once. You have only been married for 11 months and you had a fight like that. I have been with my DH for 16 years and we have never had an argument like that.
Really unless your husband starts taking responsibilities for his own actions, you have not much of a relationship. You can't do it all on your own, you are not his rescuer.

Good luck, it can't be easy for you.

artychick Mon 29-Jul-13 15:22:12

i absolutely agree with TotallyBursar about needing to play the long game, and, ultimately be able to 'let the relationship go'.

letting the relationship go allows you to grieve for what it was and should have been. only once you have done this will you know if building a new relationship with him is viable.

your DH will need to go through this process too, or he will not learn from it. being angry is all well and good, but is a defensive response which serves as a block to the shame and pain underneath. he will need to undergo a transformation to allow himself to understand why he did not say no, when he wanted to so much. this is very important and a huge part of building trust again.

izchaz Mon 29-Jul-13 15:25:46

I'm not angry that you don't all agree with me, I came on here to garner a wider objective viewpoint than my own, because I know mine is limited by my hopes and fears and my experience. The posts that make me angry are the ones that aren't sensible "leave him, he's a horrible cunt" isn't helpful, "take some time and think about what you want and if he can support you and a newborn" is helpful. There is a difference. Please don't think that because I'm angry I'm not listening, because I am; but please consider that this is my life, it might well be over as I knew it, but I'd rather it weren't, so forgive me if I struggle a little with some of the more blyth responses on here.
In all honesty some days I don't know if I can do this, with or without him, but then I expect every new mum feels like that. I don't know if the stress of working through all this would be greater than th stress of striking out on my own. I know what I want, I've no idea if it's possible, all I can do is try. My objective in coming on here was not to be made to feel stupid and blind for trying, just as I know that it isn't your intention to make me feel that way. But I do. I feel stupid and blind for letting such poison into my life, for not seeing what she and he weren't saying, and for feeling so out of kilter that I came to a forum for advice. I don't need my hand held, I don't need yes men, I need objective suggestions, and some of you have given them (in some cases repeatedly, thank you). Some of you have been less than gentle however, and that in the state that I am is hard to hear. I think I've probably cried more reading this thread than I did during the fight we had.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 15:33:56

It is hard to give you suggestions. It really is a very short menu. If it were me, or my daughter, in this situation, I'd move continents to get the fucker out. "Fucker" yes. He is. He fucked. He fucked your sick friend for a long time just after you were married. So he is a fucker in a literal and figurative sense. As I've said before, you can't make a man do this. Men have sex with someone because they want to. Newly married men who have sex with their wife's sick friend and who then carry on doing it, do it because they want to and because they have no moral compass.

So suggestions...most of them involve a rusty spoon.

I'm afraid the only other suggestion I have is the one you simply do not want to hear, but that is the healthiest one: leave him.

GoodtoBetter Mon 29-Jul-13 15:34:39

My objective suggestion and it is offered with love, kindness is for him to move out until after the baby is born and for you to have some therapy and counselling and for him to examine on his own and off his own back why he felt the need and gave himself permission to do what he did. Anything else is madness and will see you back here in 6 months wondering why he's cheated again. Good luck you have hard times ahead. sad

GoodtoBetter Mon 29-Jul-13 15:35:43

lois says it better tho...

garlicagain Mon 29-Jul-13 15:36:14

I know what I want, I've no idea if it's possible, all I can do is try.

How many times have I said that?! [rueful]

You might well be underestimating the degree to which your respondents - even the seemingly unreasonable ones - understand and sympathise with you. Threads on here can often be reminiscent of someone trying to make friends with a snarling dog, while the person it bit last week yells "Run! Don't touch him! Get away!!"

Oh, well. The most any of us hope for, at this stage, is that you can take our viewpoints in and re-inform your thinking as life goes forward. You've said this is so; thank you. Remember you can come back here any time smile

Business game theory out of Transactional Analysis. I think you will enjoy the book!

garlicagain Mon 29-Jul-13 15:36:28

evolved out of

scripsi Mon 29-Jul-13 15:39:41

Your OP asked how you would stop the spiral that you and DH get into. I do think you need to take more time for yourself whether this is a few days away or a regular weekend away every couple of weeks to break that cycle. It is hard to regain equilibrium when you are in a situation which is constantly throwing you off balance.
I think that you are carrying a lot of frustration and that is coming out in the bickering and getting distance would be a good idea.
Another thing is the talk of the OW's mental health problems. Could you enlighten us as to how you got to speak to her medical/psych team? Has being in touch with her DH helped you come to terms with what you're facing?

crunchbag Mon 29-Jul-13 15:41:29

This makes such sad reading:
'I feel stupid and blind for letting such poison into my life, for not seeing what she and he weren't saying, and for feeling so out of kilter that I came to a forum for advice'

None of this is your fault. Even if you knew, read the signs, foresaw the future etc you couldn't have stopped it. Your H did what he did out of his own free will. Nobody forced him. The only person who could have stopped it was him and he decided not to.

NicknameTaken Mon 29-Jul-13 15:44:02

I'm with GoodtoBetter. Is this something you'd consider and if not, why not?

I have to add this because I think it relates to your situation.

When I was in my mid teens I had an affair with a teacher of mine. I've talked about it on here before.

He was married and they had a very tempestuous relationship which was on and off. His relationship with me was very abusive and also on and off. After our relationship ended he ended up reconciling with his wife.

She and I had a memorable argument where she made it clear that he was her man, this was not going to destroy her marriage and that she would "prove me and everyone else wrong". They were both not local to where we were all living and she told me she would stay here, in my home town, so I'd always be able to see them and remember that I "couldn't destroy" what they had.

Almost ten years on and they're still married, and as promised, do still live here so I do get to see them from time to time. Usually they're having a huge row. Once I saw them at the station late at night where I was returning from a night out with my husband. She was crying in the taxi queue and he was calling her a bitch. She 100% blames me for the relationship I had with him- which began when I was 15 and he was 31 and has openly and publicly called me a "whore" and a "slag" amongst other things. Through the grapevine I've heard lots of things about him over the years, including that she found out he was a member of a "no strings" sex/dating website. He has clearly never accepted his role in having the affair with me, but has slotted into the role of "wronged" victim.... Which has just allowed him to continue behaving badly. It boggles my mind that she stayed with him. She always wanted a baby but he didn't and- surprise, surprise- now in her late forties she still doesn't have one. Rather than take the painful step of acknowledging what an abusive prick she was married to, she helped create a fiction of blame-shifting that absolved him of all responsibility. I fear you are in danger of doing the same.

Your husband is clearly a sexual predator who had preyed on a vulnerable woman. Don't be his second victim, because that is what you will be if you continue to have him in your life.

For what it's worth my life now is good and happy because I broke free of a weak willed wanker. You can do the same.

poppingin1 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:14:04

Honestly OP I understand where you are coming from. I won't go into details but will just say that I can, to some extent, understand your mindset right now.

My advice would be as others have suggested, that he should move out and you should take time to adjust to becoming a new mother without him around. Take time to focus on yourself and your new baby.

It might not seem like it but it would probably be better for you and your baby. Take some time to imagine how life will be when you are sleep deprived and dealing with the unrelenting needs of a new baby, only to then have to spend 9pm till 3am fighting over the window being left open and not enough noodles in the cupboard.

A new baby will put further strain on an already immensely strained relationship. A baby is a blessing, but realistically they can put a lot of pressure on a relationship when you are in what seems to be a pressure cooker environment where little things can dredge up all the nastiness from the past.

I know because I have been there. my DH and I weren't dealing with what you are dealing with, but we also had a lot of built up resentments due to family issues. We were also stuck in the cycle you have described of little things bringing everything back to the surface and two years later we are still working it out. I really understand your want to fix your marriage, but I also understand how much worse it can get after the baby arrives and you start arguing over the responsibilities that come with adjusting to the needs and wants of your much loved LO.

chaosagain Mon 29-Jul-13 16:26:27

I'd second (third, whatever) Goodtobetter too. What you have to work through is difficult, hard, upsetting and uncomfortable. There is a hard task of picking out what is reality from amongst all the reasons or excuses for his behaviour. You'll also need to distinguish between positive thinking/ determination and avoidance/denial. You'll need to work out whether what you want is possible, knowing that wanting it isn't enough on it's own. And you need to work out whether you need to grieve for something lost and irreparable or work on fixing something that might be worth having again one day. Whatever the future, it will be a long game. And that's unfair because it's been inflicted on you. It wasn't your making.

It's hard to see clearly up close to anything so complex and difficult. What do you think about individual and couple therapy/counselling? (and if only one of these then individual counselling?)

This perception on your part worries me: .... the trauma to our marriage, me changing job, DH potentially being faced with changing job, my feelings of betrayal and grief over my friend who turned out to be anything but, and my boiling rage over the whole thing

Trauma to our marriage - sounds like you see it as something inflicted on your marriage externally. It wasn't. Your husband had an affair. He did that, whatever the circumstances and pressures he had choices along the way. Especially since it wasn't a one off.

Betrayal and grief over my friend. Are these feelings misplaced, do you think? At the very least you might expect to be saying this about both your husband and your friend. (Not to mention that your friend was in mental distress and she didn't take the vows to you that your husband did). You may need to feel these things about your husband too, before you can process them and move forward.

I worry that you're displacing it all on to her/external to your husband/taking responsibility for it yourself in order to contemplate a future, ie.to be able to fix it. To truly fix it, you may need to be able to blame him too and then forgive him. Right now the responsibility you give him comes across as pretty superficial. If you go back through all your posts and look for anything that sounds like making excuses or justifications for him you'll see people mean..

Do lean on your friends - people you love and trust. You deserve all the support you can ask for right now.

poppingin1 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:29:08

Don't beat yourself up OP. You have been manipulated, lied to and deceived.

In all honesty, if my DH had done something like this, I wouldn't want him to be near me ever again. But again I understand you feelings about wanting to try and save your marriage. Its easy to say LTB when its not your life that will be in upheaval, but sometimes it is something that needs to be said so that even if the person doesn't end up choosing to end the relationship, they at least have an outside perspective of just how bad the behaviour of the offending partner has been.

prettybird Mon 29-Jul-13 16:30:12

You mentioned earlier that "I had counselling for an unrelated issue many years ago, and my odd family unit came under the spotlight, my counsellor felt that I had made a good adjustment to it all, and that although it had coloured my approach to relationships, they didn't feel it had negatively impacted that approach."

I'd be really interested to know if that counsellor would make the same judgement about your current approach to relationships hmm

Being pregnant and having a baby often makes you start to revert to "old" learned patterns. Up until now, you haven't been a family unit. You soon will be. You are determined that you want your much wanted child be part of a loving family unit. You are prepared to fight for that - and to overlook what he did/is doing.

You said in your OP that you wanted help "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."

Is that not the same cycle your mother was in? sad

TotallyBursar Mon 29-Jul-13 16:30:24

I may well have seemed glib, I often come across that way in writing. I didn't mean to and am well aware that this is your life.

I offered the only viable way that I can see as a way to achieve your long term goals. I didn't offer my personal judgement on your situation.

Currently you are asking the impossible - there is no healthy way to do this quickly, make it better and be happy.
And the only thing you have control over is you - no matter how you support, forgive, rail at or demand from him, fundamental change into a respectful and loving husband can only come from him. It is also nearly unheard of.
You are being blinded by your friend, you are conflating all the feelings you have about her manipulation and betrayal with those for your husband. The only way to move on is get her totally and completely out of your marriage and deal solely in your husband's transgressions.
As long as you have such a convenient repository for all of the difficult feelings to come she will be exploited by both of you. That will not heal you.

Because there are only 2 options - he has been a victim of sustained, chronic, sexual assault in which case he needs significant help to allow him to process those issues and she should face the threat of prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
Or
He chose to have sex with another woman, at the time in a position of closeness to you, and carry out a large, explicit and months long campaign of lies, emotional and sexual betrayal.
This manipulator could have been foiled with one sentence. She could have been foiled by him removing himself from the situation - it was easier to avoid having sex with her than to continually have sex and an emotional affair with her. And I have a master class in dealing with Narcs and abusers (and I await the answer to pps ? with interest).
That is what you won't see while she fills your vision.

Nobody gets talked around and out of their strongly held morals and beliefs, (without so much as a heart to heart with you? for reassurance, help?) unless they choose to be led. Or they are a vulnerable adult - in which case he needs even more support.

She may be many things but she was those things because she was a currently disturbed, pregnant and mentally ill woman. That makes her vulnerable in anybody's book.
She also said she was fleeing a destructive and unhealthy marriage, while pg - that would be classed as making you a vulnerable woman.

So whichever way you cut it his 'weakness' led to him starting and maintaining a months long affair with a woman so vulnerable to exploitation and scapegoating she has needed to be sectioned for her own safety.
Any decent man would have seen 'vulnerable woman fleeing DA' and backed right off, many more as close to the situation as he was would have seen 'liar and manipulator - get her out, protect my wife and myself'.
No decent man would have fucked her, let alone minutes after they married and in the marital bed.

She is your white whale. But you need to be looking closer to home.

Greatdomestic Mon 29-Jul-13 17:11:35

In all honesty some days I don't know if I can do this, with or without him, but then I expect every new mum feels like that.

OP, please consider going for more counselling. Being pregnant with your first child for most people doesn't invove feeling like you describe above.

springytotty Mon 29-Jul-13 17:32:35

Why the need to placate him OP? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

You may think that posting on an internet forum is desperate and shameful but if you take a look at the shift in you since the beginning of the thread, which has been a relatively short time, then perhaps you can see that posting on an internet forum isn't particularly shameful. A lot do it - to get an unbiased perspective. Posters get to see the situation in the raw and, interestingly, it is the unadorned that often shows the real flavour of a situation. I berated you for insisting on filling in the gaps, but the gaps you have filled in make no difference to the central theme. Which is that he cheated on you and had an affair with your friend when you were newly married.

It is 'convenient' that she is, apparently, mentally ill, personality-disordered, whatever. So easy to hang this whole thing on her peg. I do waiver about this, though, having been the victim of a psycopath and ending up doing things that were shameful and completely out of character... I'm muddying the waters here - you/he may be right that he was taken in by an alarming person. It is shocking to be taken in by characters like this - nothing prepares you for it. You think you ought to have seen it coming but I really don't see how one could see it coming without specialist knowledge.

Whatever has gone on here, the facts do speak for themself and he does need to take responsibility for what he did. You were and are a victim of the wiles of these two (I'm sorry to lump them together but the end result was the same), you do not need to take responsibility for what they did. I am concerned about your history (your parents marriage) and how it appears to be playing out all over again in your life: we think we have escaped their toxic legacy and are shocked to realise we haven't at all. It is very difficult to accept.

I feel incensed that he is bickering with you - for 6 hours! when you are pregnant! - when he doesn't have a leg to stand on, regardless of the circumstances. He did it, he needs to grovel, but it doesn't look like he's doing that. And you are desperately trying to sweep over this in record time, the iminent arrival of your child as a benchmark for getting it sorted. It's not going to be sorted in such a short timespan, particularly as you are pg; and particularly as he is hotly denying he had much to do with the end result. Regardless what he may say, his actions speak louder.

sorry to go on, though. I do feel for you.

woozlebear Mon 29-Jul-13 17:43:33

Ok, I've only made it about two thirds down but I have to say this:

1) In order to understand all of that logic you probably have to share my viewpoint that the affair ...was and is an abberation, and is absolutely out of character for him
I disagree. Your relationship is only 2.5 years old. For 11 months of that he has either been unfaithful and/or has been behaving extremely badly towards you. That means, taking that time frame as a representative example, his 'character' is to be extremely unpleasant nearly 40% of the time. I'd put money on him being a through and through bad egg.

2) People can change. But it doesn't happen very often, and it needs to happen quickly after the initial error. The fact that he lied twice when confronted, harangues you for 6 hours and 4 months after, tries to blame you AT ALL for his affair all tell me he's never going to change. He's also a liar, a cheat, a bully and very very immature. It's unlikely enough for one of these aspects of his character to suddenly disappear, let alone all of them.

3) Similarly, people are only as nice as their worst traits. This idea you have of a lovely kind honourable man going through a rough patch is dangerous nonsense (and I have been there, in a much more abusive relationship, for longer than you have been, telling myself the same cr*p.). We're not talking one, even large, but brief mistake, followed by remorse and attempts to remedy it. We're talking sustained affair, denial, lies, bullying, inability to shoulder the blame. It doesn't matter how much he appears 'prostrated' by guilt. It doesn't matter what he SAYS. He's HASN'T and IS NOT NOW BEHAVING like a nice person who loved you. At all. It's going to be the hardest bit for you to accept, but the person you thought you knew before you got married probably doesn't exist at all.

4) Details aside, your posts could pretty much have been written by my mother 32 years ago. Where is she now? Still married to my dad. So bitterly unhappy she's physically and mentally unwell. My parents have the sort of 6 hour arguments you describe several times a week. THEY HAVE DONE THIS FOR 32 YEARS. Just stop and imagine that for a minute. What went wrong 32 years ago gets dredged up every few weeks. My life? Wretchedly miserable childhood, and an adulthood spent listening to and trying to deal with my mother's absurd attempts to try and change my father.

4) It doesn't matter how manipulative/unstable your ex friend is, or how much previous she has with other similar situations. No one can force a married man to be unfaithful if he's not willing to be on some level.

5) It will be harder to leave after the baby is born.

6) There are a lot of nice men out there. There are a lot of happy marriages which fundamentally work that don't involve 6 hour arguments, bullying, 'safe words', or lies. It's easy to replicate your parent's habitual behaviour. I did that. When I realised it didn't have to be like that it was miraculous.

7) In the same vein, I notice you talk about having 'fought' for your relationship, and you take about your 'downfall'. Please stop. You're not teenagers. It's not a film. It's not romantic. Love is NOT supposed to be tormented and difficult. It's not a Greek tragedy. A relationship does not become more worth fighting for the more it's put you through, if anything it shows its probably less worth saving.

Please, please listen to everyone.

Dressingdown1 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:45:10

OP I am very sorry that you are having a tough time at the moment.

From reading your last post, it seems you have form for seeing the good in people and investing in their own views of their lives and problems. This appears to be what happened with your friend, when you fell for her manipulative behaviour. Do you think that possibly this is what is happening again with your DH? I feel that you are very ready to believe his view of what has happened.

As far as positive advice goes, if the bickering starts to make you feel sad or uncomfortable I would advise immediately getting out of the situation. Tell DH that bickering is bad for your baby and go and lie down/out for a walk/to visit a friend/whatever it takes to remove yourself from the stress. Has he fixed your car yet? If not is it a (possibly unconscious) ploy to keep you in his control and unable to leave quickly? If the car isn't fixed, get a taxi if necessary. It is very important that you take good care of yourself and your baby and do not allow yourself to get unnecessarily upset again.

I fully support the idea that you should both have counselling to help you to sort out what's going on in your minds. As others have said you can't rebuild a marriage single handed, get in as much outside help as possible.

Good luck, I hope your view of your marriage turns out to be justified.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:46:51

OP, I think you are hell bent on making everything `ok` again you can't see the wood from the trees - time will tell if he can change himself into the man you deserve, I wish you all the best in this quest. On here you get blunt advice, ie, not how we would put it face to face haha, it's easy if it's anonymous like this to actually say what you think from the gut, although yes it must feel quite cutting as well, you can't say you don't get a good range of opinions though!

Inertia Mon 29-Jul-13 17:54:46

This is not what you want to hear- you want to hear how you can singlehandedly make your marriage to an unfaithful, verbally abusive, blame-shifting man work. Collective experience tells you it can't work under these circumstances but you'd rather get angry with those pointing out the pitfalls , because you refuse to direct your anger and blame at your husband (and he refuses to accept responsibility).

The truth hurts.

You can try to avoid the pain by ignoring or papering over the truth. But it won't make it go away. I'm sorry, none of us can make your husband faithful or conjure up a guaranteed way to stop him cheating and blaming you . Only he can do that- and as long as knows he'll get away with it, as he has so far, there's nothing to stop him having sex with whomever he likes.

I'm not surprised you find it difficult with your mother. You are becomming her, no? Standing by your faithless man because it's not really his fault.

I hope you have counselling - you talk about him like you are the only one who understands him (after only 2.5 years!). What is overwhelmingly obvious from your posts is that you do not see him for what he is at all.

Sorry - I know this is more of what you don't want to hear...

springytotty Mon 29-Jul-13 18:38:04

I missed this earlier -

be very wary about stepping in to understanding & loving mummy mode with anyone other than your own child

That's going on my fridge! (yours too, OP)

Izchaz, I have just read all your posts on this thread - and am so sorry to hear what a terrible and difficult time you've been having. It sounds traumatic.

You are very articulate and, the more you have posted, the more a picture is built up:

i) Your deranged and sociopathic 'friend' completely did you and your H over, wreaked total havoc between you and him, using your H's weakness and ability to be manipulated to set him up to do this.

ii) The whole thing has blown up and, as well as blaming the friend, and even you for foisting the friend on to him, he takes responsibility for his part and is remorseful, and is still beating himself up, that he allowed himself to be manipulated into doing something so against his nature, something which hurt the woman he loves. Both of you are angry, upset and traumatised about different aspects of this, and have unresolved, strong residual feelings about what happened.

iii) After initial reactions and separation and fury etc., you have made the choice to try to recover from it, work through it and repair the marriage.

But, for the reasons above, when you argue about other stuff, all the unresolved feelings leap to the surface and invade/escalate your argument so that it is a full-on, vicious, haranguing 6-hour row, which neither of you can put a stop to, because your emotions and feelings, the anger you must feel, the disappointment he must feel in himself, how abused/stupid/sad/upset/shocked you feel about first being treated like this by the 'friend' who you were trying to help, but who was playing you, and the feelings about the enormous thing your H has done, are all so raw that they cannot be kept under the surface permanently.

So your marriage is suffering as a direct result of not having been able to recover from this terrible, and actually quite recent and long-drawn out, complicated event.

The only thing I can think of, if you BOTH EQUALLY want to repair your relationship and are prepared to actually take action (him, I mean, because you evidently are), is individual counselling for you, and the same for him. Try to get a very good counsellor/therapist on recommendation, SO important.

Because this trauma and all the complicated feelings around it is something that you are still suffering over, even if what you are actually arguing about is other, more trivial stuff.

Perhaps you could agree that the problems you are having require you to undertake the drastic action to live separately for now, and each attend counselling separately to work through your own stuff, and he his, but with the intention/hope of coming together again and perhaps, at that stage, doing some therapy together, perhaps CBT to address the way you now live together, and how you move on.

This is a HUGE and SERIOUS thing which has happened, with a PROFOUND effect, and it will have to be a HUGE and SERIOUS thing you both do to get past it. DRASTIC ACTION IS NEEDED. It cannot be swept under the carpet.

I wish you the very best of luck.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 20:10:23

I don't think OP's husband was "set up" at all. How do you do that then? Set up a newly-married man to fall repeatedly into your fanjo? Any decent man would not have gone near SickFriend. For seven months.

freeandhappy Mon 29-Jul-13 20:14:24

Can you write about how you found out? That can be very important. The two times you asked him and he denied what had made you suspicious? Was he good at lying ie convincing? Did he make you feel you were paranoid or jealous at any point?

lemonstartree Mon 29-Jul-13 20:22:33

It cannot be swept under the carpet

nor minimised, rationalised, explained, reasoned.

UNLESS you can BOTH accept haw devastating this has been for you as a couple.... its dead in the water.

IMHO of course.

But I know a bit about HUGE and SERIOUS things in te middles ofa marriage which I tried to deal with by minimalisation, rationalisation, explanation and reason. When that didn't work I tried to sweep it all under the carpet. My H did fuck all except be angry that I was trying to control his drug / drink use

I am now (thankfully) divorced

Thesunalwayshinesontv Mon 29-Jul-13 21:43:34

OP, I am the poster who mentioned the round peg and square hole upthread.

I honestly think you are not seeing your sitauation clearly right now. Entirely understandable, given the huge amount you have on your plate right now.

However, you initially asked for advice on how to stop arguments spiralling, and reiterate that request in one of your last posts.

You have been given the standard advice on this (stop to think, leave the room to cool down) etc. I think this is good advice, and if you follow it you may well be able to reduce or even stop the bickering and sniping currently going on between you and your DH.

However, this will be, at best, papering over cracks. It will not deal with the underlying issues, which have been laid at out length by other posters.

Further, once the baby arrives and your physical, emotional and mental reserves are low (which they will be, inevitably), this learned behaviour will not last. I fear you will lapse back into your old (true?) MO.

And all this assumes that you are both equally committed to changing in the first place, that you both learn new behaviours and techniques. Even so I fear you will struggle.

One can only wish you luck, OP. Round pegs do not fit in square holes.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 29-Jul-13 22:55:26

Actually round pegs do, with a bit of space at each corner. It's the square pegs in round holes that are an absolute bugger. smile

Hatpin Tue 30-Jul-13 00:41:37

Hi OP I can't possibly know what is going on in your H's mind either but I was in his shoes for a while, as I had an affair with a very manipulative person, who in hindsight was probably some sort of low grade sociopath.

Two things - firstly I didn't know who he was when I started the affair - didn't know he would go on to lie and gaslight and emotionally tie me up in knots for the best part of two years. But I still had an affair with him. That's my responsibility. Doesn't matter who he was. I chose the path of an affair quite willingly.

Secondly - when I discovered who he really was, knew he was lying to me, was hurt by him, I still continued - not because I couldn't get out of the situation (although I agree it's hard to detach from a manipulative person), but because I didn't want to. I had invested everything with this person - left my marriage etc. Those were my reasons for not stopping it.

Even though I am ashamed at the way I let myself be manipulated, at no point would I ever say it was his fault or that I couldn't help myself. Nor would I allow anyone to believe that on my behalf, just because I would gain some advantage from it. When people close to me found out I had an affair it would have been the easiest thing to play the victim card and gain their sympathy rather than risk their disgust or alienation, but I chose to take that risk. Sure, I was very vulnerable to having an affair at the time and he probably singled me out because of it, but I still went there of my own free will.

Can you honestly say that your H knew who your friend would turn out to be when he chose to have an affair? He couldn't have known when he took that first step. Yet he still did it.

If you want to reconcile you have got to understand why he chose to do this, chose to do it just after you got married, chose to continue it.

If he can't be honest with you about this, if he can't face taking that risk with you and experiencing your disgust and possible rejection due to the real reason he had an affair, then there is no hope, I'm afraid.

To allow him to do that - if he's willing - you have got to abandon this false narrative that he was some kind of passive player in someone else's drama. I can tell you he was not.

TotallyBursar Tue 30-Jul-13 01:17:00

That was a very honest post Hatpin, and brave to post it here.
I hope op can gain more perspective from your insights, not easily gained I'm sure.

Thesunalwayshinesontv Tue 30-Jul-13 01:17:19

LPL It's funny you should say that, I was wondering about that right after I hit post. I concluded that it would depend entirely on the relative size of the pegs and holes grin

PeriodFeatures Tue 30-Jul-13 03:30:05

izchaz I really hoped after reading all the responses to your post that there might be someone else who could see past the surface and have hope for this relationship.

You followed up with this women's psychiatric history and issues and i'm reassured that my thinking wasn't completely skewed. It was what i expected.

Gosh. You have had a 'job done' on you both. No one is perfect and a chink in your relationship has been exploited and your DH has been really stupid.

You have failed to keep yourselves safe or protect your relationship. You are both early days if you have only been together for two or three years too. At this stage in a relationship, your not so well functioning bits are very vulnerable. A good relationship gets stronger and stronger as time goes on, not weaker. The strengths you build make difficult times easier to cope with. So early on to have serious problems is absolutely battering.

Despite the common consensus, I actually think that you can get through this. I think you are both traumatised by what has happened, vulnerable and very angry.

You are not just a izchaz and mrizchaz but a relationship has a third element, the unseeen element that is you and he. This has been damaged and needs to get better. Neither of you have protected it.

You need to both treat that 'other' like something very fragile if it's going to recover. Arguing is fine if you can find a healthy way of doing it. If you can get counselling separately first, i'd advise it.

If you both want things to work out, and have the capacity to be honest with yourselves and each other and to 'live in the wounds' for a while then it might work out. Your DH Jus needs to look into the guilt and see it for what it is. A great mechanism to stop him ever risking your marriage again.

Go and do nice things togethher, light things and for god sake don't let random people into your lives and learn to put some bloody boundaries down!!

Yoou know you need to consider the impact on your baby. I won't even mention that.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Tue 30-Jul-13 03:43:56

I'm sorry, but you will not get through this. That is, you will never have a healthy marriage. I'm sorry, but you won't. Your marriage is a seething ball of dysfunction. Accept it and live that way or get out. But this mess cannot be salvaged.

GoodtoBetter Tue 30-Jul-13 07:08:43

"a chink"??? "really stupid"??? shock Think it goes a bit deeper than that....

If you both carry on pretending that this evil (pregnant?) woman was entirely responsible for seducing your newlywed husband and if you both decide that you were the one who desperately ignored his cried for help (despite his lying) then yes, I think this relationship could stagger on for years.

WeleaseWodger Tue 30-Jul-13 09:45:42

Hi OP. I skimmed yesterday's posts by others so apologies if this was raised already and I had missed it.

Couple of days ago, you posted that "WE were working on this". One resounding (thunderous) message coming at you from all these strangers is that your husband isn't taking full responsibility, isn't taking full blame, and doesn't genuinely seem to be sorry (based on your own posts).

Can you elaborate - mainly for yourself, really - what specific ACTIONS he has taken to fix your marriage?

I don't think you will resolve this until the baby comes, and a lot of posters worry for you, as life will turn upside down in a way none of us can predict yet.

You may draw a lucky straw and get an easy baby that feeds well, sleeps like a trooper, and is comparably an easy baby. Or, you may get a high needs baby (google that plus dr sears). We had the latter. She is an absolute joy but almost destroyed her parents' (stable) marriage by keeping them sleep deprived for over ONE YEAR (there is a reason sleep deprivation is an inhumane form of torture).

Regardless of which straw you draw, the entire dynamic of your marriage will shift and you won't have time to give your marriage problems all this time. And, you will change. Being responsible 24/7 for the welfare of a helpless, dependant being - it changes everything. It causes huge stress. Huge. Many couple divorce within a year of having a child. That huge.

Everyone here is very worried for you. That's why the urging to take action now.

So back to the question. What positive actions has he taken to repair the damage his affair caused?

TheRealFellatio Tue 30-Jul-13 10:22:25

That is exactly what they are both doing Thisis. Personally I don't buy it that this woman is/was especially vulnerable, even if she was sectioned. Some sociopaths and people with narcissistic personality disorders may be mad but they are not always vulnerable and they do far more harm to those around them than is ever done to them. Not every person with MH issues is automatically the innocent vulnerable victim.

However, that aside, whatever she is, or is not, is entirely irrelevant. He was a willing shagging partner. He either loved her, in which case the OP deserves better, or he didn't love her but still continued to shag her for 7 months, just weeks into his marriage by the sounds of things, in which case the OP still deserves better.

He chose to have an affair in the very early stages of marriage, when they had only been together a couple of years. None of the classic, cliched reasons for an affair (mid-life crisis, stress, boredom, lack of sex, financial pressure, the hamster wheel of bringing up kids, grown apart etc, etc) would have applied here. He was greedy and opportunistic and led by his cock. It's all very simple really. It wasn't a stupid drunken ONS, or an ill-advised fling, or a flirtation that got out of hand once or twice, it was a protracted affair.

It happens, often actually, probably more than many of us like to admit, that within many young couples, despite loving one another, one or other or both will find it hard to resist the sheer excitement of sex with someone new. Sometimes people want to be married and a grown up on the one hand, but can't quite let go of the very basic desire to shag around. Which is why people marrying young and having children very young is so often doomed to disaster. Ask anyone who works in a busy office in a city, staffed with lots of 20 and thirty somethings - affairs are absolutely rife, even among young, childless couples who should be in the honeymoon period of their relationships.

But what concerns me is that if he were truly sorry and wanted to put it behind him, grow up and throw himself into his marriage, he sure as hell has a funny way of showing it. He seems to refuse to accept that any of the blame is his - never mind all of it. It wouldn't matter if the OW had marched into the room naked and forcibly sat on his face - he was newly married and he should not have succumbed to any temptation, full stop. the fact that he did is not the surprise - it's the fact that he can so easily play the victim upon being found out that astounds me. The inability to resist temptation itself is not a reason to shift the blame onto the OW, however much she may have thrown herself at him.

This marriage is going nowhere. I mean for goodness sake - they are both in agreement that it was all the OW's fault, and yet they still can't seem to get any peace and move forward. confused

izchaz Tue 30-Jul-13 10:54:20

Fuck fuck fuck! I'd just written a huge schpiel and twatphone+fat fingers has minced it before I could send it. Right, start again!

izchaz Tue 30-Jul-13 11:01:13

scarletwoman and periodfeatures you both very accurately describe me/him/us, and the actions/decisions we have taken in the aftermath. It feels sort of like a juggernaut has ripped through or there's been an earthquake and everything is still sort of recognisable but on closer inspection turns out to be broken.

hatpin thank you for having the bravery to share your insight. Whilst I'd never given him carteblanche for what happened I am increasingly coming to believe that he could have said/done more to prevent or stop what happened. At the very least he could have spoken to me.

izchaz Tue 30-Jul-13 11:21:48

Someone upthread (sorry, I can't find you to namecheck) asked how the whole thing came out. I think perhaps it makes sense to give a precis.

After I introduced them they became quite good friends - similar interests and senses of humour, I had been told by her that she was very unhappy in a multiply-abusive marriage (turned out to be bollocks), so I encouraged them to spend time together as he was good with her kids and she always seemed more "up" when he was there. Over the coming months she began to text/email/call him and me more and more, and whenever we sought time for ourselves to prep for the wedding there would be a disaster - little timmy would need rushed to hospital, or she would collapse whilst on the phone to me, or her husband would come home and she would be afraid of him. So we were both drawn in. I work nights, DH days, so we sort of fell into the habit of keeping an eye on her in shifts. When asked she was not keen to leave her husband, and whilst offering support we both knew better than to push her to leave or to confront her hsuabnd. She left him briedly and moved in with us, the only instance I know they definitely had sex happened during this period. Eventually I became unhappy with how dominant she was becoming in my own home and suggested to move to a hostel or another friend, she went back to her husband. Over the coming months DH stopped taking her calls, would leave when she came to the house, or would call me infront of her so I knew she was there. I was working increasingly long shifts, and by the end was working 60+ hours a week. As the months passed he stopped keeping her at arms length and they began sending inappropriate images and texts/emails to each other. (subsequent examination of phone records shows me she initiated each flurry of messages) (by this point she might be sending me 60+ texts a day, whilst sending him only a little fewer, lookign back now it boggles my mind that I didn't question any of her behaviour really, but it was so gradual and would stop if I mentioned anything,only to build up again in later weeks).
Anyway, eventually he told her outright "I'm not engaging with you any more", a few hours later she allowed her husband to accidentally catch some of the content on her phone, creating a little alibi for herself. She then swore her husband to secrecy (for my sake apparently) and then put plans in motion for a massive suicide bid to get DHs attention. She got mine instead and I involved every single unit I could think of because I realised that her children were at significant risk.
At the end of the most harrowing day of my life, where I stopped my best friend making a (I now realise false) suicide attempt, protected her children from witnessing it, made various statements to various professional bodies and sat with her for more than 20 hours to ensure she got the help she needed she told me my DH had driven her to it. I drove home not having the first idea what to think and asked him, he denied it, I don't really remember what he said, but he could have told me he was Desmond tutu that day and I'd have believed him I was so wrung out.
She spent a good while in a unit, banging on to me about how DH had put her there, so eventually I asked him again, again he denied it, but there was something about it that didn't add up, so I asked again and he admitted it, but their stories never matched up.

themidwife Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:08

So how come you have "divorced" her & not him? They are both equally responsible.

izchaz Tue 30-Jul-13 11:26:18

Right, now, I came on here to say that I am going to take some steps to rectifying my life a bit, with or without dh. I don't want to go into massive detail on here a) because the plan isn't fully formulated and b) because I think it fair that dh know before you lot :-p But I'll be taking some time for myself in the coming weeks and will be going to therapy. I'm also going to strongly suggest that dh returns to his therapy and make it clear that non-attendance will have consequences.
Hope that helps you all to stop worrying about me a squidge. Sorry I've not replied by name to everyone who's posted over the last 12 pages, you have all been read (some of you have been sworn at), and I have tried hard to take on board what's been said.

sarine1 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:29:05

At the very least, he could and should have stopped it! Not carried on for 7 months......
This must be such a difficult task for you - your protective instincts as an about-to-be parent must run away from the scary place that splitting up with him must seem.
But what has he actually done to repair / reassure / commit to you? Really and seriously? Reading your thread he seems full of half baked words / sentiments - when he's faced with your understandable fury and feelings, he goes off on one, indulging himself in battling with you. I get no sense that he is truly contrite and has any capacity to be sorry and step up to the plate and be a partner who will be truly supportive.
I have been a single parent for the majority of dd's life and it has been a joyous experience. The thought of someone experiencing the first months / years of their child's precious life with a 'partner' who is paying lip service to their relationship is just so sad...

PeriodFeatures Tue 30-Jul-13 11:36:57

i All the best to you. You sound really strong.

Glowbuggy Tue 30-Jul-13 11:37:16

That sounds awful Izchaz! I'm one of the swearers from a few pages back but I really do wish you peace and happiness, not with him of course as I think he is vomit inducing scum. But for you. This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read.

PeriodFeatures Tue 30-Jul-13 11:39:00

To all the people who are being heavily critical, have you ever had to deal with someone who has a personality disorder? I'm guessing not. Not all people with mental health issues are ''vulnerable'' Some are really dangerous.

TheRealFellatio Tue 30-Jul-13 11:42:19

No-one can tell you whether you are should or should not stay and work at your marriage - that is your prerogative to decide, no matter what has gone wrong, and I do know that it is very, very easy to sit on the other side of a computer screen and tell someone (in theory) what they should and should not do, when we don't actually have to do it ourselves.

I just hope that whatever you decide in the long term, and however this pans out, we can at least have helped lift the scales from your eyes about certain things, so that if you move forward in any direction you at least do it with a clear head, no delusions, realistic expectations and some self esteem. Good luck with your baby, and I wish you strength as I think you are going to need it, whatever happens.

GoodtoBetter Tue 30-Jul-13 11:42:21

izchaz I do feel for you, this is so so hard at what should be some of the best times of your life. You deserve more. But you're still directing your hurt and anger at the wrong people: at people here who say what you can't bear to hear and at the OW who your are determined to paint as a demon who snared your poor unsuspecting little husband, forced him to fuck her and lie to you. And lie again and again.

You need to get really really really fucking angry at him, because without his decision to do this, nothing would ever have happened. You need to live apart and have some serious therapy before you even begin to consider trying to "work through things". Would you consider that?

GoodtoBetter Tue 30-Jul-13 11:43:40

Periodfeatures so dangerous they force men to repeatedly fuck them and lie about it to their new wife???? What are you on???