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

Have I over reacted? Is this something that others would accept and move on from?

(45 Posts)
gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 19:46:18

Dp had an EA with a friend of a friend of his earlier in the year. Told me he wasn't in love with me and was unhappy etc. I asked for specific examples and I believed we were working on these.

Fast forward to now, found out he had been in contact with numerous other local (unknown) women on a fuck.buddy site. Asked him to leave as I couldn't trust him and he said he liked the attention and was still unhappy.

Found out today that the female friend of his and ow has told him that it was ok as he didn't physically do anything and if her dp had done it she would want to ask him why and work through it. She also went on to say that IHO I hadn't been paying him enough attention.

So, have I over reacted by asking him to give me some space? I thought we were doing ok and things had improved since the first time. I obviously wanted it to work the first time and I really thought he was being honest with me about his feelings which is something he struggles with.

We are going to see a counsellor which from what I can tell he hasn't told her this as when she mentioned it to him he said he couldn't see me agreeing to it.

Admittedly we didn't have sex very often (18 month bf ds) but we rarely went to bed at the same time as he liked to stay up later. On the occasions I instigated it he turned me down and the last time he was unable to keep his erection.

Right now I feel awful because I think people see this as all my fault and that it was inevitable for a man in his position and that I should be grateful that he didn't have a physical relationship with anyone.

Fairenuff Thu 05-Sep-13 19:53:18

He had an EA within the last 8 months, you both decided to work on your relationship, then you discovered more infidelity and asked him to leave, which he did and today you have heard that someone else told him it was ok to cheat. Have I got that in a nutshell?

It doesn't matter if it wasn't physical, btw, it's still cheating and, no, it's not your fault, its his. He is the one who cheated, not you, right?

So, no, you are not overreacting. You are well shot of him.

No, I don't think you should be grateful at all. Not your fault if he's going on these sites when you are supposed to be working through it. That is a very onesided commitment, and it does not look like it's coming from him.
Don't think you over reacted. it's a breach of trust, again, and space is needed.

LynetteScavo Thu 05-Sep-13 19:54:00

He's said he doesn't love you.

I wouldn't bother with counselling.

It really doesn't matter what other people think. No one else will ever really know what goes on between two people.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 19:58:56

Thank you, I know no one else will ever know but it hurts when I am being totally honest with my friends about what happened and it seems as though he isn't with his.

I can't imagine that if she was in the same situation she would be ok with it. She has a different approach to her relationship in that she has to be in constant contact with her dp and shares the majority of his hobbies whereas I don't as I feel it's good to have time apart.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:00:47

fairenuff that is the gist of it all. But to her it's not classed as cheating so it is acceptable therefore I am the one with the problem.

Fairenuff Thu 05-Sep-13 20:03:33

Of course she does, she is friends with the ow. She is not your friend.

And she's wrong anyway.

The second word in the phrase 'emotional affair' is the clue.

georgedawes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:06:09

I think you're under reacting.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:08:21

georgedawes what do you think I should be doing?

I am currently employing the silent but deadly approach in that it's not how I reacted the first time and I think he is finding it quite unnerving to be around me smile

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 05-Sep-13 20:17:03

You know what? When it's her marriage, she gets to decide what is acceptable to her. When it's your marriage, you decide. Don't listen to people who, as Fairenuff said, are not your friend and have a vested interest in making you out to be the bad guy.

FYI, I think you are completely reasonable to ask for space and you would be still reasonable in going further and ending the marriage altogether. When does your counselling start?

georgedawes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:19:40

I'm not having a go. From what you've said he sounds a bastard and I think you'd be better off without him. Sorry if that sounds harsh but you deserve better.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:22:41

It starts next week. I have asked him again if he feels that lack of sex was a problem in it all and he said no.

He is unhappy with his life in general and believes that there is something better out there for him but he doesn't know what it is.

I also came up with things we could do together as a family but he was never very interested. I also stayed with family once or twice a month so he could have his own time but again this hasn't been enough.

He said he hadn't felt like I love him to which I said if I didn't I would have ended it the first time not tried to work through things.

He takes a great deal of notice to what this friend says anyway so she will know far more about me/our relationship than I ever will sad

HeySoulSister Thu 05-Sep-13 20:23:30

He won't ever stop with this kind of thing

Cut your losses is my advice

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:24:37

georgedawes I honestly didn't think you were, it helps to see that other people believe I am being reasonable. I was asking in case there was more I could be doing rather than us ambling along away from one another.

Dahlen Thu 05-Sep-13 20:27:59

Did you actually hear this from her directly or relayed through your H? It has the ring of him saying, "look, even other women think you're over-reacting" as a means of excusing his behaviour.

Even if you heard it directly from her, as others have said, she is the friend of your H and his OW and therefore not exactly unbiased. Furthermore, what she thinks is completely irrelevant anyway. It's what you think that matters - it's your relationship.

Anyone who signs up to a fuckbuddy site while allegedly working on their relationship does not deserve the relationship. 0/10 for effort. How can he possibly be committed to the relationship when he's looking for new sexual partners at a time when you are trying to repair the damage he's already done after an EA less than 12 months previously!

georgedawes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:28:22

Glad you didn't think I was having a go. You sound nice, he sounds a prat (sorry but he does). He's not treated you with any respect whatsoever.

Squitten Thu 05-Sep-13 20:29:31

The fastest and most effective way to wake this man up is to give him exactly what he wants. Something better out there, is there? Show him the door and tell him to go and find it. What an insulting thing for him to say to you?!

How DARE he start exploring his options while keeping you and his child tagging along behind him until he's ready to dump you. I think you are being far TOO reasonable!

Fairenuff Thu 05-Sep-13 20:31:29

He doesn't want to be with you and you would certainly be better off without him eroding your self esteem day by day. You are worth more than what he has to offer.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:33:08

Lets just say I heard exactly what was said so I know what she was told by dp and her responses.

I have been coming to the conclusion this week that I am better off without him but it still hurts.

He only signed up to chat with them as he liked the attention they gave him. I have come to realise that he is very selfish and arrogant. I have been told in the past by a relation of his that he likes to play the victim and nothing is ever his fault, I'm starting to see this now.

ImperialBlether Thu 05-Sep-13 20:33:21

I'd give him all the freedom he wants and tell him to keep away and to keep his hypocritical, fawning little friends away, too.

He's horrible. How dare he treat you like that? If he wants to end it he should have the guts to tell you, not treat you badly and blame you for it.

There is a lovely man out there for you, but it's not the one who's currently in your home.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:35:27

Squitten that's why I have asked him to leave this time as before nothing much changed for him as I just shouted at him and that was that. This time he has had to leave ds behind, which isn't fair on ds but I haven't stopped him visiting at all.

Cabrinha Thu 05-Sep-13 20:39:12

So easy to throw in LTB.
I'm not saying this to be hurtful - but both a friend and I have been through being turned down for sex and husbands not maintaining erections. Turns out both were doing a lot more than just looking on places like fuckbuddy.
What you find, is usually not the whole story.
The ONLY way to make a relationship work after an issue like an EA is for both parties to be commited to trying.
Joining fuckbuddy is not showing commitment.
Honestly, cut your losses.
Don't bother about being different, silent, unnerving him. Just end it.
I'm glad I did - I also have a child so I know that makes it harder.
You are worth so much more than this.

sassy34264 Thu 05-Sep-13 20:43:50

my perspective.

the past and the present:

i dont know if i love you
i think there may be better out there
im not interested in sex with you
im not happy
im not willing to try the things you suggest

bending over backwards to try and make it work


she doesnt do this or that
i feel this and that

bending over backwards to try and make it work

im still not happy.

the best solution all round, whether you want to keep him or not, is to tell him to sling his hook. it may make him wake up or it may make you wake up and realise you are happier without him.

everyone cherishes the thing that was hard won over a thing they were given for free. make him work hard to get you. if he doesnt- well you'll know he wasnt worth it

captainmummy Thu 05-Sep-13 20:44:24

He sounds very immature - he doesn't like his life at the mo but doesn't know what else he wants. Apart from lots of women fawning over him and him playing the big I AM.

He is the one who will lose out on his ds; in the future when the women are older and wiser and he is alone in a bedsit... even then people like this think the world owes them everything.

Cabrinha Thu 05-Sep-13 20:45:27

Only signed up to chat? Bollocks.
I'm not having a go at you, I'm really not. I had years of this "only looking" bollocks before I kicked my useless scum ex into touch. (stayed because I thought you should work at relationships, then because we had a child - conceived when I stupidly - well, harsh - naïvely, hopefully - thought it was sorted).
Even if he has only chatted so far, he WILL do more.
He can cross the line of an EA, of sex talk on fuckbuddy... How well do you really think he'll stay the right side of the line after some sex talk online that ends with a woman saying "let's meet then - I only want sex and I'll never tell your wife". You already know you can't trust him.

Let him go.

I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:53:44

I have said that so far this year he has gone from one ow, who knew all sorts of things about me that he would never tell me, to actively signing up to a site and looking for women to chat to, the next thing is up with one as they have been chatting for at least three months! I cannot see a way forward for us because I will never be able to regain my trust in him.

If he could do this whilst I thought it was ok and quite possibly sitting next to him then what else could he be capable of?

Looking back he never did make anymore of an effort with our relationship. It only took him three months before he started the next round of EA's so as you say it was very one sided.

I only ever wanted to have a family and now I don't have that anymore.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 20:55:05

captainmummy you have hit the nail on the head, that is exactly what he is like.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 05-Sep-13 21:47:10

I agree with Squitten that the best way to wake him up is to tell him you've had enough. Either he will come to his sense and make an effort (have to say it seems unlikely but being 'understanding' will not do it) or he will get a rude awakening and you get to start making your life better without him in it.

You may not have a family with him in it, but you'll have your DS and there may be another family arrangement in the future for you. Don't think you have to settle for this.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 05-Sep-13 21:54:02

"He is unhappy with his life in general and believes that there is something better out there for him but he doesn't know what it is."

Oh for god's sake. Life is too short to spend it with this kind of loser.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 05-Sep-13 22:05:22

Life is too short I agree, but I do wish I could see what the future holds for me and ds.

That statement fron him actually makes me angry because there is no way I could know what it would take to make him happy as even he doesn't know.

I am pretty much certain that it is over between us but I want to go to see the counsellor before I tell him once and for all.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 05-Sep-13 23:41:28

He doesn't know what it is, but he expects to find it on no-strings dating sites, eh? hmm

Never heard the clap referred to as "something better" before, but if that's what floats his boat he sure is going the right way about getting it.

AnyFucker Thu 05-Sep-13 23:44:16

You are under reacting

And wasting your precious time.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 05-Sep-13 23:52:04

As Anyfucker said...!

Happydays12345 Fri 06-Sep-13 06:54:53

My ex had countless EA's and signed up for dating sites. He always turned it into my fault for not paying him enough attention. I dumped him for something else in the end and it was the best thing I ever did. It was so hard for about 6 months but then it got easier. I've now got the most wonderful new boyfriend who treats me so well and I'm happier than I thought possible.

gingerbreadshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 07:29:40

Happydays that is good to hear as at the moment all I can see is the difficult times ahead i.e money worries and loneliness.

I honestly don't know how I could've paid him more attention. He has hobbies which he does 2-3 times a week outside of ft work and I work pt. I do think bf ds hasn't helped with the sex issue as I just haven't had any interest in it.

I don't think I want to be with him anymore but his family and friends appear to be telling him that they hope we can work through it which makes it seem as though they see the whole chatting thing as being insignificant whereas I don't.

Surely, and this is what I find hard to understand, if after the first time he was still unhappy then he should've just spoken to me again to at least give me a chance. He has admitted that by not speaking to me that he has taken the easy way out but has hurt me in the way.

I asked him what he would do if it was the other way round, he said he would want to find out why I had done it, which is exactly what his friend said she would do.

I don't think he realises that this is what I bloody well tried to do the first time by talking to him. It is as though in their eyes I have made no effort to understand and have just made him leave his home and ds over nothing.

AnyFucker Fri 06-Sep-13 07:34:39

Who cares what his friends and family say ?

They are not the ones who have to live with a disrespectful cheat who makes you feel like shit. This is your life, not theirs. Stop asking for/listening to their opinion. People in general like to keep the status quo for others as it often makes them feel better about their own crappy choices.

gingerbreadshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 07:40:13

But it all comes back to him not having to take responsibility for what he has done. He listens to his friends and family and if they are justifying his behaviour to him he believes this and it then turns on me and how I must be to blame for it all. He will then play the hard done by victim who has been forced to live away from his ds by me - the one who is over reacting.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 06-Sep-13 08:08:45

He thinks there's something better but doesn't know what - fgs, adults recognise that life is what you make it, it isn't presented on a plate. That sort of negative dreamer is just an emotional drain, nothing will ever be good enough, because, in the end, it is only things he achieves himself that will give satisfaction and he lacks the motivation to try. He will live out his life and die miserable.

Stop caring about what other people think, especially people who are not your friends. The lines 'you only know what he's told you' and 'he would say that wouldn't he?' may be useful.

It is really galling knowing that others think wrongly of you but you have to distance yourself and recognise you cannot control what other people say or think, only what you do. If they wanted to understand your experience and feelings, they'd ask you - and you wouldn't have to tell them if you felt heir motivation was not kindness.

Happydays12345 Fri 06-Sep-13 08:10:05

It's not about whether you make him happy or not. He's just using that as an excuse so he doesn't have to take responsibility for his actions.

Who cares if he plays the hard done by card. You know the truth and that's all that matters. My ex told people frankly laughable reasons for our split and his family wont talk to me but it didn't really matter in the end.

captainmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 08:24:03

You will never make him happy. Fact.

No-one will.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 06-Sep-13 08:25:23

I'd suggest you write him a letter, setting out the problems in your relationship, how you've felt, what you've done to improve things and itemise the changes he'd need to make for you to be willing to try again (though I think he's already gone past that by not being worthy of trust).

That gives you a record of what happened and your position at this time. Useful if you're wavering later. You don't necessarily have to give him the letter but, if you do, he has a record of things he knows are true - though beware he'll probably dispute and twist facts and responses. You could keep his version very simple and factual.

gingerbreadshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 08:26:15

No you are right, it doesn't matter what they think or believe. If they genuinely cared about me they would have asked me how I am. Instead there has been silence.

I have said that he needs to appreciate what he has and stop wasting his time and energy believing that there is something better.

gingerbreadshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 08:29:14

I hadn't thought of a letter I think that might be a good idea thanks.

Everything that I have told my friends and family (and on here) has been factual because I don't see the point in lying and then people discovering the truth later on. If he wants to play the sympathy card that is fine by me as hopefully his lies will catch up with him.

captainmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 11:03:26

A letter is a good idea, lottie. You can take your time writing it all down and getting your facts straight in your head - and he can't derail your train of thought as he would if you were speaking. He can dispute and put his own version of events to you, but I really think you and he are dead in the water.
He doesn't know what he wants but he know it's not THIS! Let him go off and find 'it'.

Cabrinha Fri 06-Sep-13 11:28:40

Fuck what others say.
But... If you need a line to use to them, or to yourself, or to him if there's any blaming, try this:
"I wanted to try to work it out, but he joined a website set up to arrange no strings attached sex between strangers - I can't accept that".
ANYTHING that gets said in reaction to that isn't going to cut it.
His behaviour is indefensible.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now