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I've joined the merry throng

(207 Posts)
Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 00:05:40

It's complicated. But also very simple. DH has been unfaithful. Still an ongoing EA but now I've discovered it
I've NC. We have 3 kids
Bloody hell

ModeratelyObvious Sat 14-Sep-13 00:09:05

How are you doing?

tightfortime Sat 14-Sep-13 00:10:31

Asshole. Pure and simple.

What do you want to do now?

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 00:17:51

Sorry to hear that. How long has it been going on?

Sorry to hear this. Have you confronted him?

Are you OK?

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 00:19:07

Shit I look like a bloody troll
I'm really not

I know her. I had suspicions that she had her eye on him nearly 2 years ago. They've been meeting regularly as "friends" I wasn't intentionally snooping but found texts. He's admitted it.
We've had a real distance between us over a while and she moved into that. He allowed her to. He's the one I'm angry with. He's been weak
We've actually been getting on much better recently.
I want our family to be together. I want to bloody kill him

ModeratelyObvious Sat 14-Sep-13 00:27:00

You don't look like a troll OP.

Has he admitted everything now, do you think?

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 00:28:12

There may be more to this. If they've been meeting, they may well have been sleeping together too. Sorry to bring this up but you would be wise to have an STI check.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 00:33:13

I think so tbh
The background is I work stupid hours. The DCs are 15,12 and 3. The 3 year sleeps between us. Sex is rare due to that. He had a serious breakdown 7 years ago and hasn't worked since. He was getting better but I was under ridiculous pressure at the start of the year and there really was no us. He felt emasculated by that. The EA has been on and off for a while. They had sex in the spring. He says once. He had a breakdown again in the immediate aftermath.
He wants me and not her but had been seeing her as friends. She's married too. It's a mess
I'm numb and angry and very measured
I know there's no easy path right now
I'm most furious that apart from MN where do I go with this?

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 00:34:25

I've already asked him re STI. The bastard did not use a condom
A job for Monday. Cunt

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 00:41:26

Did you find out about it in the spring or just now?

FrancescaBell Sat 14-Sep-13 00:42:42

It's deeply unlikely it was just the once, so probably safest to assume it's been a regular sexual affair for longer than you've been told.

If he's lying about that, he's also probably lying about the dates.

You might find that the affair caused the distance between you and not the other way around, hence the need to lie about the dates.

If you had suspicions 2 years ago about her, I'd start from around that time and work forward.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 00:51:41

Found out tonight
I think the distance was worsened by her but multifactorial. We haven't been a we for a long time.
I don't believe it was just the once. But we have been getting on much better recently. Yet he was texting her and calling her his best friend and beautiful yesterday morning. While I was at work and between work doing something really major for him.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 00:54:45

Oh that's shit, so sorry. He is still having the affair. Tell him to leave so that you have some time and space to decide what you want to do.

FrancescaBell Sat 14-Sep-13 00:59:09

You've got a 3 year old so for most couples, the first year of a child's life is a bit of a blur and there's not enough 'we time'. Just as you were coming out of that fog, this woman appeared.

Unless you're going to say that your marriage was awful before you had your latest child, I think you might be looking for reasons that just aren't there. That's understandable, because in your shock it's probably helping to think that you could have controlled this and stopped it happening if you'd put your mind to it.

But the scary thing is that you couldn't.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 01:01:35

None of this is your fault OP. Even if your marriage was completely at rock bottom, he didn't have to cheat did he. Do not accept any blame. He is 100% responsible for cheating.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 01:16:07

There were issues. He's crap at facing things. I've had so much to deal with with work and our youngest that I have taken the eye off the ball. I became aware of that and we started looking at how we could do better as a team. He said he has realised that its me he wants. Bit bloody late.
The challenges were real but he's been pathetic and weak to go elsewhere
No excuses

FrancescaBell Sat 14-Sep-13 01:22:55

How long does his phone company keep his bills for?

That might tell you how long this has been going on for. A work colleague's husband told her his affair had been going on for 3 months, but when she got access to his bills online she found they kept them for two years. The texts to the OW were just as prolific 2 years before as they were up to the day she found out. She was never able to prove how long it had been going on for.

Her husband wanted her more than the OW, but she didn't want him anymore. It was the lying afterwards that killed any chance of rescue stone dead.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 01:35:17

His phone is unlimited texts so not sure that'd be recorded anywhere. He's deleted all texts obviously. Can they be retrieved?

FrancescaBell Sat 14-Sep-13 01:39:37

I also have unlimited texts but I can get my bills itemised and need to for business purposes. Don't think a deleted text can be retrieved but have never tried to tbh. Colleague found an old bill with his account number on it and registered him for online banking. She had access to 2 years of itemised bills.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 01:48:35

I will have a look at his phone tomorrow.
I texted her and told her to back off or I'd tell her husband
He says he won't see her again
Like that makes a difference now
I've read before about this stuff. Really didn't think this would be us
Yes I am that cliche

I want us to make a go of it but I don't see how that could be.
Actually I'm too numb to know what I want
Him to have not fucked another woman, basically.
He now admits it was about 5 times. Yeah, whatever

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 02:51:32

He's asleep
I feel like I will never sleep again
I've been so supportive to him since he came out of hospital in the summer. I have landed colleagues in the shit by taking a lot of time off work to help him through. He has admitted during that time when I was absent from work and I was doing fucking everything for him he went out for a swim for some space and he actually went to hers and fucked her
What a twat
Seriously what was he thinking? He's now worried about the impact on the kids - our dd1 would not handle this well. But bloody late to be thinking about her now
TMI alert - And I think I do have an STI. I've had discharge for the last couple of months. I put it down to having put on weight and being sweaty and contraception or something. Think it's possibly trichomoniasis

GreetingsFrontBottom Sat 14-Sep-13 03:00:20

Clichecliche, so sorry you are going through this. I don't care how depressed someone is, there is no excuse to go and sleep with someone else.

I guess the good thing is that it sounds like you are very independent, so would be in a good position if you decided to divorce him.

mammadiggingdeep Sat 14-Sep-13 06:50:52

Op, sorry you're going through this. From experience, all I can add is that you MUST not make any decisions yet. If possible ask him to leave so that you can have space to think it all through. Even if you want to make a go of it, he needs to leave to know how serious this is.

Think you should tell someone in RL that you trust x

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 06:51:18

Maybe that will be the upshot
But we are skint
We need to downsize our family home and sort out our finances. He has to engage with that.
I'm terrified as primary day time carer of our dd2 he'd get primary custody so I will keep my powder dry
If he means what he says about doing anything then he can the house sorted and ready for sale. He can get himself more sorted and into paid work.
Then if we can't reconcile I will be strong enough and sorted enough to be able to getting fucking rid. That's my plan unless we can reconcile and I can't see him having the balls tbh. He's a coward. That's why he fucked her.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 06:54:48

I have told my friend who lives in USA.
I can't bear to tell anyone else at the moment. I've been so supportive of him, leaned on people when he was in hospital and been so vocal in my views that I was with him in sickness and in health that I feel so foolish.
I will speak to my GP on Monday re getting swabs etc done. He might already know as DH told his psych.

lunar1 Sat 14-Sep-13 06:58:17

So sorry you are going through this. Hope you had some rest last night.

I know It feels like almost a worse betrayal when you've been so supportive of him, OP. I hope he feels like fucking shit. Typical that he should be sleeping while you stayed awake sad

I think your plans are good. Whatever happens you'll be fine. Tell someone in rl, they won't think you're a fool. He's the fool amongst other things

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 08:14:40

I've told a friend. She's not the closest friend in many ways but she has a less than perfect life - SN daughter. Divorced etc
She won't judge me
I'm going to see her for coffee later if I can get my work shift covered.

Vivacia Sat 14-Sep-13 08:30:57

I think it's understandable that he slept well, probably for the first time in ages as he's off-loaded the guilt and fear and adrenaline and secrets on to the OP.

But for you, it's a massive shock. He's weeks, probably months, ahead of you in terms of coming to terms with the situation. But from here on in, you can turn that around.

Xales Sat 14-Sep-13 08:33:37

Sorry you are going through this.

It's not an EA. It's a full on dirty sordid affair.

If he went and slept with her since he came out of hospital in the summer it wasn't just once in January so he is still a lying sack of shit minimising so that you won't dump him with no where to go.

They all do. I don't think I have read of one affair on here where they admit everything straight off. And the doing it to protect you line is bollocks it is to stop their sorry arse being out the door.

If you have an STI I think her H needs to know. Not your problem or fault I know but really shitty for him not to know.

PTFsWife Sat 14-Sep-13 09:41:47

As someone two weeks into having joined the Merry Throng, I just want to say I'm sorry you're going through this too. I find it gobsmacking how many women come onto MN each week and say the same thing about how their husbands are having affairs. It's like until it happens to you, you trundle along through your life blissfully unaware that this happens for real. You hear about it but you never imagine it will be you. Like being in a car crash - it's always someone else involved in one of those while you just drive slowly past the crash scene thanking your lucky stars.

If it helps, this is the timeline of how the last two weeks has gonefor me - perhaps it will help you to know what to expect:

- he admitted the affair. Didn't give full details. I was in shock and walked out of the house and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I came back, we had a short chat but my gut instinct was that I wanted to save my marriage. He slept in the spare room

- I didn't sleep but got more and more upset so that by morning I demanded to see his PC. I then got to see the extent of his affair. It was horrific. I told three close girlfriends and they came to my rescue. I spent the weekend with them at their houses. Told the kids mum needed a girly weekend break. On about day 3 I got angry. Husband and I communicated a lot by email.

- He left for a week to go on a business trip abroad and to find out about what was going to happen with his job (it was with a work colleague). I felt sick all week, full of anxiety, crying all the time about nothing, exhausted, not sleeping, wanting to vomit. I took Kalms and Nytol to get through it.

- He came back. He was a broken man. A complete shell. I could tell that he was deeply ashamed and sorry for what he had done. We had a long, mature chat. I tried to be calm and understanding. I put 'fix my marriage' first. We even went on a date that night and slept in the same bed (no sex but I did give him a peck on the lips goodnight).

- The next day it felt as though the last week had just been a bad dream. He seemed to have become his old self. I felt: What the fuck? I haven't actually really let myself think about what he has done or get really cross. He seems to be having it too easy.

-The next day I made myself read the over 800 emails that went between the two of them. Pornographic in nature. The rage that I had been missing finally arrived.I left and stayed with my friend again.

- The feeling that I wanted to fix my marriage was for the first time being replaced by a sense that maybe I really didn't want to be with this man. I told him that.

-I went to the sexual health clinic. The humiliation of sitting with a bunch of men all cupping their balls while they glanced at me wondering why I was there, having someone take swabs and bloods to check for a huge range of STDS - well that didn't help the way I was feeling about my husband.

Since then it has been very hard. We are living in the same house but in separate bedrooms. We are speaking but only about mundane matters like what time to pick the kids up. I have arranged to go abroad on Monday to see my family for a week. They know all about it and have been massively supportive. I am going to use the time to try figure out my thoughts on it all.

Ultimately I think I will try to work on my marriage but we have a long, long path to walk. There are continual triggers that make me think of the words they shared with each other.

My advice is to try get away from him - whether it's him going or you. Do talk about it first though. Just going away in a bubble doesn't help move you forward - just postponing the inevitable. Get as much info about the affair as you can so that you can really absorb it and feel the hurt and anger. I truly believe you need to before you can move forward. Read Shirley Glass's book Not Just Friends. Do not blame yourself for this. As the book says: Contributing to a failing marriage is not the same as causing infidelity. Love yourself. Get friends in for support (only tell friends who will be supportive of your marriage rather than judgemental, that way if you decide you do want to work at it, you have support).

Good luck and sending lots of love your way.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 09:53:31

Well. We've talked
I've been lurking and occasionally commenting on relationship threads. I am such a cliche but at least I know where to go. I've downloaded "Not Just Friends" and been reading stuff here and on the Surviving Infidelity website
I've told him what he has to do.
He's listening and he's not making excuses this morning
Yes there were issues but he allowed the gap between us to widen and then he allowed her to move in. His choice. His mistake.
I don't think I know it all yet but I am sure I will be told when I ask. I can't face more detail just now. I have a day with the kids to get through. But I'm seeing my friend later
I've told him I want a full reconciliation ideally but I don't know if I am capable of the forgiveness that would take.
Time away won't be easy and there is no spare bed but I think he will be going away for a weekend very soon.
Our local sexual health service is unutterably crap so I will see GP first

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 09:56:25

And we're just going to O2 shop to change his mobile number. His suggestion

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 09:59:54

And I've known for months something was wrong. I used to be morbidly obese with a comfort eating thing going (please don't put me in rl if anyone recognises me here). I've been comfort eating again after years not doing and I couldn't have said the reason why.
The EA seems to have been a year to start. The shagging started in January. I knew there was something about her. My instincts are good.
That's a good thing to know today.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 10:19:12

And thanks PTFsWife
I guess it's good in some ways to know we're not alone but I'm sorry this is happening to you x

YoniMatopoeia Sat 14-Sep-13 10:26:05

So sorry to hear you are going through this cliche

Is there any way that you can get some space for yourself? It sounds like you can't ask him to move out as you need him for dd while you work?.

Is there anyone you could stay with for a few days?

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 10:34:37

I'd miss dd too much
She's such a mini me and just follows me around
Going out for the evening with a friend. Once I'm over my cold I'm going to take time for myself properly every day.

comingintomyown Sat 14-Sep-13 10:55:35

Cliche sorry you are going through this

Can I just say you list divorce as one of the reasons your friends life is less than perfect

I am nigh on four years divorced and my life is closer to perfect than most of my married friends

If you cant work things out try not to be afraid of divorce

lemonstartree Sat 14-Sep-13 11:09:57

im so so sorry. This is no way to repay you loving and loyalty.

i hope you can get some rest tonight and be supported by your friends

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 11:10:33

I didn't mean if that way
I meant because she's lived and knows that shit happens she won't judge. She's much better without her ex than with him.

Vivacia Sat 14-Sep-13 12:04:19

I can't see why any of your friends would judge. Even if you've been a bit smug, they should be there to support you.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 12:11:20

I don't want to deal with smugness though just now. I also don't know if we have a future and don't want advice of LTB just yet. I just want someone who will be nice and understanding and unsmug. I have a lot of friends who are I couldn't handle just now.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 12:12:49

Is there any reason why he couldn't move out and just come over during the time you are at work to look after your dd? If he wants to try and work on the relationship, this would be the least he could do.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 12:14:33

Apart from the fact we are skint and I'd have to tell the older DCs, no. It might happen at some point.

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 12:20:38

Could he go to his parents, or a friend's spare room?

TalkativeJim Sat 14-Sep-13 12:22:09

Tell him the first thing he needs to do is get a job.

That sorts out the access issue and starts to help with cash.

You might not want to tell her H right now as it's a card you hold, but ultimately he should know, if you have a STI.

Personally I'd have no qualms at all in using the fact that he doesn't know as a leverage, and then tell him as soon as you're where you want to be. I don't think I could live with keeping quiet if his health may be at risk.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 12:24:58

If I have an STI I will tell him.
It's torture having to wait regarding that

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 12:28:11

We live a long way from his family but a visit to his brother may be in the offing to give me some space.
He doesn't really have many friends locally and nobody I think he would want to tell.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 12:32:32

I don't mean to "yes, but"
I don't care if he's here or not right now. I have more space from the responsibility of the DCs if he's here.
I'm feeling rubbish with a bad cold so it's easier just to live alongside him right now. He's trying to look after me.
It's so hard to reconcile the lovely but damaged man he is with the cowardly shagging bastard I see

Fairenuff Sat 14-Sep-13 13:37:46

Try to focus on yourself while you get better. Try to eat, soup is a good option if you can't stomach much else. Rest when you can. Keep taking all the support you can get. You're doing ok.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 17:22:50

I ate cheese on toast at lunch which tasted like nothing and sits heavily in my stomach. I've been watching and rewatching the Emma Thompson scene in Love Actually. We've talked again. He's genuinely distraught by the realisation of what he's done. I won't send him away because it'd be easier for him to sit in a grotty B&B drinking whisky than being at home facing things and keeping life ticking on for the DCs. I'm going to see my friend at about 6
I am still in shock and no doubt will be for a while. I have no idea what the future holds for me but I am being authentic with him and I will continue to be authentic.
Any more advice? How do I survive the next few days apart from just putting one foot in front of another.

lemonstartree Sat 14-Sep-13 18:23:54

can you take some time off? do you want to? what about some couples counseling? do you think there are deep issues around him not working that may have contributed to this? What does he expect to happen?? want to happen? does anyone else know - seen him and OW together?

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 18:38:27

Very few people know. A friend of his he confided and maybe his wife. My friend I'm going to see tonight. A friend of mind in US and one in London (I live a bit away from her)
I can't take time off as I was off most of the summer kindly paid even though it didn't really have to be - my colleagues are great. That time off was his illness brought on not by me but by his conflict due to his sordid affair. He has a lot of making up to do. There are deep issues. We know what they are but he's always been a bit loath to talk and I've just got on with things. No more. He knows that any hope of a future with me requires 100% honesty.
He definitely wants me and our family in that order it seems. He doesn't want her. Stupid fuck for putting it all on the line.
We shall see but from everything I read I can maybe get past this but it's by no means guaranteed and will take years.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 18:42:32

And he needs to get some paid work ASAP. No more excuses. He has a vague plan re career development. Not easy after years off with illness and being sahd. He needs to get off his arse and do it.
And we've neglected us. But I'm the one who does a lot of organising of the family. I've told him he can ask me out on dates but he needs to organise it including the babysitters. He can organise assignations with his ex tart so he can organise time with me.

Xenadog Sat 14-Sep-13 18:55:13

OP I am terribly sorry you are going through this. I don't know what would be useful to say other than if you both want to work through this I believe you can but maybe at some point when you are ready it would be worth having some sort of relationship counselling?

You must still be in shock so I suggest you don't make any decisions about your future yet. If he can't move out then make sure you are looked after by friends/family and don't isolate yourself from people who care about you in RL. You need as much support as possible.

Vivacia Sat 14-Sep-13 18:57:15

He definitely wants me and our family in that order it seems. He doesn't want her.

I wouldn't lose sight, just yet, that they haven't been his priorities throughout the affair though.

FrancescaBell Sat 14-Sep-13 18:57:50

Frankly, where on earth would you have had the time to tend to this relationship? It sounds like he left everything about the way your life was organised to you. I don't know any SAHMs whose husbands do all the family organising, or whose husbands think it's their responsibility to put the romance back into their lives. It still feels like you're taking way too much responsibility for what was going on in your relationship, just because you're the woman and mother.

I'm guessing you're still in too much shock to feel rage, but I'm feeling it for you. You put him first and your job/only source of income second to tend to his entirely self-induced 'breakdown' and he still didn't end the affair?

Words come cheap. He wasn't sobbing and feeling wracked by guilt before you found out. Stressed? Yeh, maybe. Don't confuse guilt and feeling bad about what he was doing to you, with stress though.

FWIW I understand why you haven't booted him out. You'd get left with all the shitwork if you did while this extremely self-indulgent man nursed his sorrows and felt bad for himself not you.

Don't make any decisions yet. Don't suggest he arranges couple time either. You see time and time again these threads where the adulterer gets to go on nice cosy weekends away with his wife and it's so galling.

Vivacia Sat 14-Sep-13 19:01:32

Don't make any decisions yet. Don't suggest he arranges couple time either. You see time and time again these threads where the adulterer gets to go on nice cosy weekends away with his wife and it's so galling.

Especially when the wife is in pieces a month later.

Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 19:20:21

I'm thinking about a night out at the cinema or something. Weekends away are a long way down the track.
The words are there which is a start but the actions have to follow.
We will see

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 14-Sep-13 20:00:22

Excellent advice on here (as usual). I would also get Shirley Glass's Not Just helped so many of us enormously.

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 14-Sep-13 20:05:44

Sorry missed your post that you have already downloaded the book.

Do not make any long term decisions yet - you will keep changing your mind as your process your thoughts and feelings.

lemonstartree Sat 14-Sep-13 23:27:04

I hope you can get some rest tonight. It will take some time to process your feelings about all this, as some one else said up-thread, at some point the anger will start. You can't rationalize what you feel, though you may try.... and your feelings need to be acknowledged for you to be able to move forward.


Clichecliche Sat 14-Sep-13 23:47:09

I know. Tonight I feel so jealous
He's mine
He gave her the intimacy that was promised to me forever. I am sickened by jealousy
I'm also scared that he will contact her again. Although he can't easily as she's just moved house, he's deleted her contact details from his phone and changed his phone number. But this is a small town. He will bump into her.
I texted her last night to tell her to back off or I'd tell her husband. She didn't reply or make any attempt to contact him this morning. If she texts his old number she will now get no reply and he won't get the text
But I'm scared
Did he ever say that he loved her? Did/does he love her?
But I'm otherwise ok
Whatever that means

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 00:25:33

Wide awake
Friend tonight was great. Genuinely astounded as didn't see him and us as the sort of couple this happens to. And she's not naive so I guess I'm not a complete fool
She thinks we can get through it
But she didn't judge
I know he sounds dreadful on here and what he's done is dreadful but he never used to be so disengaged and weak and absent. If he does what he says he's going to do - take genuine responsibility in our marriage and our home and in our family...
He did once before. In fact for more than 10 years of our marriage he was a true equal partner.
He has to be that again
If we downsize and sort the finances then my plan b will still mean I will be ok even without him and dd2 will be at school next year. I could manage without him
He will only be part of us if he earns it

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 00:45:37

It's absolutely shocking that he let you take time off work to care for him after his "breakdown" and went off to shag his mistress.

That shows a lack of respect and love for you that will be very hard to overcome.

I mean, you don't go from treating someone that badly to actually giving a tiny fuck about them.

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 07:46:58

Yes. That's one of the things that will be hard to get over
He was genuinely ill though. Not an excuse. But you don't get admitted to hospital or detained under mental health act unless you're sick. Not an excuse. But a fact
I'm not just throwing him out. But there are so many examples of things where he has just not manned the fuck up and got on with it. That changes now or he will be out. And if he takes the same pathetic response to being chucked out that he has to challenges he will probably be dead in a year. He has insulin dependent diabetes so drinking himself into oblivion won't take long to have an impact. He's not threatening that. I just know if be self destructs it will be serious. He's drifted on since his first breakdown 7 years ago and played the victim and resented me and now betrayed me instead of facing that shit happens and life's what you make it. But before he got sick he was dynamic and worked hard - held two jobs and during the whole pre credit crunch property crash he did a bit of property development on the side which is why we have such a big and bloody expensive house now. What happened to that man? He was a good man then.
I will accept nothing more than a return to a genuine equal partner who works as hard at raising our family and earning money and organising our lives as I am. Because there's no doubt I can cope without him. And he knows it. Can he do that? I think he can. Will he? I don't know.
But he won't get back into my bed and my heart unless he does. I'm not going to be his mother effectively any more. Because he's just been a lazy rebellious unempathetic teenager and I forgive ds for that but he's 15 not 45. He's been fucking obsessed with how I have the power because I earn the money and run the house. But he's completed absented himself from any real attempt to do either.
This is about so much more than fucking some trollop.
My only fault has been to not address the life that's developed and the roles we've been in before now
Now don't get me wrong he's not been a stroppy child all the time. He's gone through phases of being more dynamic. He can be so much fun. He's a very hands on dad. And I know women say that on here when they mean he's changed about 2 nappies a year. But he has been sahd with dd2 and he takes her out for adventures and does amazing craft work projects and painting at home. He almost always does bath and story and bed. He's a very indulgent dads taxi for dd1. He engages with ds on politics and economics and political conspiracy theories (ds is quite the eccentric intellectual). The kids adore him. He does the washing and cleans kitchens and bathrooms and shopping when he's in reasonable form. Until he gets into a fucking brooding and mood and then he's back into stroppy child mode.
The stroppy child is never coming back now. Or he's out. He tells me he's got into negative moods because of stuff I've done and how he resents the power I have. The power to work myself stupid. Some power
The funny thing is I now have more power than I've ever had. I have reduced my hours at work - spoke to a manager yesterday. I'm going to spend time on me and make plans for me. I'm not manipulating him. I've told him the terms of him staying and that even then there's no guarantee I will forgive him.
But he knows I'm serious. Man the fuck up or fuck the fuck off.

Vivacia Sun 15-Sep-13 08:03:03

I think you're right about how the situation in your relationship is more than the affair (his moods, your respective roles etc). I'm not sure how you proceed when things are so complicated, but I think that there are complications. I'm not sure how you deal with the affair whilst wanting to punish(?) him for his strops. Do you see what I'm getting at? I really think that counselling would help you both, perhaps alone and then as a couple. However. I agree with the general advice in this situation. Don't rush in to any decisions or plans of action at this early stage.

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 08:09:54

He tells me he's got into negative moods because of stuff I've done and how he resents the power I have.

This is stroppy teenager as well. He's blaming you living your life for his "negative moods"?!?!?! Ridiculous. He (and nobody else) is responsible for his moods.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 08:21:31

That was exactly the same sentence that jumped out at me.

The POWER you have?

More like the fucking responsibility you have to keep the whole show on the road while he carries on like a child inflicting his moods on everyone and sneaking off to see his girlfriend behind your back.

It's hard to see how this guy could ever deserve you again.

But you seem to have a very good handle on what has been happening, and it makes sense not to throw in the towel just yet.

But god, the self-pity might be the end of me. I don't know how you can listen to it without wanting to kill him.

Good luck, Cliche. Not that I think you'll need it. However this shakes out in the end, I think you'll be fine smile

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 08:25:36

The self pity has been such a feature ever since he got sick in 2006. Ok it's shit have 2 chronic illnesses in your 30s. But life is shit. Get over yourself.
No more self pity is allowed
I know I will be ok
Counselling may well happen but it's too early and I'm plenty aware what needs to happen first
Like I said he has a lot of making up to do and not just for shagging a pathetic scrawny old bitch

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 08:32:24

I don't want to punish him for his strops. Yet
Anger hasn't hit me but it will
I don't want to punish him for his affair even. Right now he's suddenly aware of how pathetic he's been and how much he's hurt the one person who's the best thing he has ever had or could ever have. He needs to stay in touch with that awareness 24/7. No more woe is fucking me
I run. It's my thing. I did my first marathon last spring and the time spent training while I was working long hours (as jan to march is a busy time at work) was blamed my him for his breakdown. Fucker. Way to give me guilt. Fucker
I promised him I wouldn't run a spring marathon again
I've changed my mind. I'm going to train with my lovely friend I saw last night and do a marathon in April. If he doesn't like it then tough shift. In fact I might train to do an ultra. (A mara and a half ie 39.3 miles)

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 08:39:11

Wow, I would want to punish the fuck out of him.

He blamed his breakdown on you?

Even though he was fucking someone else at the time?

The absolute shite!

Do you think you will ever fancy him again?

The whole "poor me, waaa, waaa, you have all the power and I just had to take a lover and have a breakdown to get some attention" would make me despise him, I think.

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 08:45:16

I just don't know
Lots of talk this weekend
He did blame me - bastard. Can I forgive that? The shagging is easier to forgive.
I'm not angry yet but imagine I will be

Now the time for action approaches. At least he's aware of what is required.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 15-Sep-13 08:47:08

Let me get this straight OP - he is too ill to work, he has you running around like a blue arsed fly while he just mopes around, occasionally sneaking off to shag his OW, he has given you an STD, he has lied out of his arse re affair.
He's not really bringing much to the party is he? Have you considered that there just might be a better catch out there?

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 08:49:19

I wouldn't bother thinking about whether you can forgive him yet.

Let's see whether he can turn himself into someone worth forgiving first.

Right now he's not worth the pain.

Turn off the support, let him get himself a job and get back some of the "power" he so resents you for having.

Then see what you're looking at.

something2say Sun 15-Sep-13 08:58:33

Op be careful.

You sound to me like his enabler. Do you think he fancies you? What he knows is true inside, you put a fake lid on, but he slinks away still holding as are you going to rebuild a marriage like that ?

And the over eating equals denial......which is what I think you are doing with his revelation. Stuffing it all back down to make it go away.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 15-Sep-13 09:03:07

Spot on something2say. Not being disrespectful but you sound more like his mother than his partner OP.

something2say Sun 15-Sep-13 09:10:38

Yes and if you want him to see you as a sexy woman, let him stand on his own two feet more, and fall off them if needs be. X. If he is not man enough, them you faking it to make it will only lead to my old many years will you waste and how much damage will be done in the meantime? Choose what your life is worth cx

Vivacia Sun 15-Sep-13 09:34:20

I agree, don't rush in to any decisions. This doesn't sound like a woman describing a partner she respects and loves.

(I have two thoughts about the marathon running. Firstly, you're mad. Secondly, I think it's a great idea).

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 09:50:52

He has realised since his breakdown and since Friday (was it really just 2 days ago) that I am not the enemy and not what he'd painted me as. He is desperate to get me back. It seems genuine. Has he realised it too late? I don't know. Time will tell. But I am sexy and he doesn't see that others do/will. It's more about whether I can see him as sexy again. He truly was different before he first got ill.
I am not his mother. I will not enable or protect any more. He has had occasional flashes the past few weeks of the old him and he's lovely when he's like that. More of the man I married please or I won't stay married to him.

All well and good. That is what I know. What I feel is broken, dirty and ashamed

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 15-Sep-13 09:58:19

You are only 50% responsible for the relationship - his affair, moods and selfish behaviour are 100% his responsibility. Also we are only responsible for our own happiness - its down to us to ensure that we are living a life that makes us happy so he is outrageous when he blames you for his issues.

You may want to read this excellent article by Pittman, a well known expert in the field of infidelity to see if you recognise your H in it....

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 10:08:07

To be fair. He is not blaming me now. He did on Friday when i found him out but not now. He blamed me to allow him to do it. He seems authentic. He seems genuinely remorseful. Time will tell.
I'm blaming me in my heart but in my head I know it was his choice every single time he saw her and talked to her and fucked her.

Vivacia Sun 15-Sep-13 10:23:11

God, what an awful time for you CC.

He seems genuinely remorseful. Time will tell.

What actions do you need to see from him?

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 10:56:29

First thing - STI check
Then start the course he has applied for and ace it
Go out and try to get some paid work
Allow me absolute access to his phone and where he is when (I was a bit wary about asking for this as he has always seen himself as a bit of a lone wolf - load of bollocks). He actually suggested it
No longer go swimming during the hours she might go (she has off peak membership only and has her own kids to get to school so he only goes 6-9)
Make plans and start the process of getting our home ready for sale

For starters

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 10:59:07

I have heard him say stuff today I wish he'd said year ago
One example - if I'm not happy about where I am then I need to take steps day by day to get to where I want to be

FFS I've been trying to get him to understand that for years. I wish he hadnt had to destroy me to realise that he had those options all along

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 15-Sep-13 11:11:20

I suspect he knew all along that only he has these options - it suited more to be the selfish teenager, wallowing in self pity, blaming everyone else/everything and not taking responsibility for his own life.

For him, it is probably much more thrilling using the buzz of an affair as a way of self medicating.

He so needs to get therapy and take a long hard look at himself to find out why he chose to behave the way he did and how he can address his issues and traits.

lemonstartree Sun 15-Sep-13 11:13:53

My only fault has been to not address the life that's developed and the roles we've been in before now

please don't blame yourself for this. It is so easy to look back and be 'wise' with hindsight, but when exactly 'should' you have addressed this? after his first breakdown? when you moved ? when DD2 was born? And how exactly 'should' you have done it ? I expect any attempt to shift the status quo would have been met with serious stonewalling /sulking/ stropping /blaming. You have tried SO hard to manage everything - because everything NEEDS to be managed and no-one else was helping.

Yes it needs to change and cannot carry on like this - not least because you will lose all respect for him if he does not 'man up' ; but please be kind to yourself. You have done everything and more to support your whole family... that's not something to be ashamed of.

He should be ashamed that he fucked another woman, that he betrayed you and that he has abdicated his responsibilities for such a long time. Yes, in due course you probably need to look (as a couple) about why this happened - what character traits in both of you allowed that situation to develop and continue. But for now, I agree he needs to prove hes worth forgiving

strength and courage and thanks

ageofgrandillusion Sun 15-Sep-13 11:14:45

He doesnt need therapy hotchic. He needs somebody to tell him he is a self centred, childish, selfish cunt. Let's not over-complicate matters.

lemonstartree Sun 15-Sep-13 11:20:28

But where do you go form there Age?

This man has behaved very badly - but the OP loves him and he is the father of her children. She has expressed a wish (at the moment) to try and move forwards. The (D)H has expressed remorse and so presumably does not want to be a self centered, childish, selfish c**t - might he (both of them) need some help to change the patterns of the last few years?

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 11:25:48

While I'm not averse to therapy and he has done a fair bit over the years and his childhood was shit. But the last thing he needs right now is an excuse to sit and navel gaze about why he is where he is. He needs to get off his arse and work bloody hard to win me back and save his family.
We both know why he has control and trust issues. Why he finds it easy to keep secrets. Why he sees himself as a victim.
But he's a grown up now and he has to stop acting like a child and that means throwing about childish damaging habits. His choice. His responsibility.

If anyone wonders - this is what a child learns when they live with violence against their mother and then against them. Don't tell your father in case... Don't allow anyone too close because they will destroy you... Don't see yourself as in charge of your destiny because you're just a frightened child being knocked unconscious by someone who's meant to love you while your shit runs down your legs

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 14:10:15

We went out for a walk with the dds and then for a lunch in an attempt to act normally like a normal Sunday and a normal family. It was horrible for me. I just want to lie down and weep but dd1 is 12 and is aware I'm not great. She asked me if I was pregnant. I am not good at pregnancy hence the 9 year gap. Pregnancy would have felt like a disaster a week ago. God.
I'm so so so so sad

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 14:18:05

I think you need to tell your DD something of what is going on.

You can't keep pretending that everything is OK.

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 14:26:21

How can I?
She adores her dad
She's a naive little 12 year old. It would break her heart
She's out a lot. We just have to avoid situations when I can't get away when I need to like cafes with her for a while
We can call it economising

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 14:35:56

madabouthotchoc. Yes he's emotionally retarded. Has anyone read the Pittman book? Any great insights in it?

I'm not overeating. I'm not stuffing it down. It's out. I've been doing so for months even though I didn't know what I was stuffing down.
Which is something

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 14:53:54

First of all, please have a care about tossing the "retarded" word around. "Emotionally stunted" gets your point across without offending anyone (I think). Just saying. smile

Secondly, you don't have to tell your DD EVERYTHING, just tell her that you and Daddy are struggling a bit at the moment or that you've had some issues that you're working through right now. A 12yo should be able to understand that. She may be worried, but probably far less worried if you speak to her and reassure her that you're still there for her than if you say nothing at all. She is obviously noticing the tense atmosphere.

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 15:02:26

Was just using the term in the article I was linked. Not one I'd use normally.
Calmer now. Really need a run. Why did I have to find out when I have a bitch of a cold and can't run. I've never needed the pain in my legs and my chest when I tackle a hill like I do now.

lemonstartree Sun 15-Sep-13 16:02:20

It must be so hard. I imagine you are not able to think about anything else, which is emotionally exhausting and very draining.


Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 16:05:58

I close my eyes, I imagine him with her
I see my face in the mirror, I think - that woman's husband was unfaithful
I'm trying to rest and my stomach hurts. Is it an STI?
All I can think of.
Yes. Exactly

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 15-Sep-13 16:48:24

Fair point OP - didn't realise he has already been in therapy lots of time. How come he does not seem to have much of an insight into himself though?

Anyway, if you decide that you want him back, then it is always good to look at how to resolve issues like roles, changing habits/patterns of behaviour etc. But all that can wait until you both are ready for couples counselling, ideally in at least a few months time.

I can identify with how shit you must be feeling - definitely the worse thing I've ever been through and that includes bereavement sad all you can do is take one day at a time...

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 17:11:53

He does have insight. He has just not translated it into action. Now is IMO the time for action

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 19:13:45

I'm not a jealous person usually. I believe in counting my blessings and not focussing on what I don't have
But I'm so jealous
He fucked her
It still feels like a secret they have that he knows exactly what happened between them and I don't
But that way lies madness. Or does it?
The details would hurt. My imagination hurts too.
Which is worse?

Vivacia Sun 15-Sep-13 19:23:04

I think it's a personal thing. I like to know the facts, warts and all.

lemonstartree Sun 15-Sep-13 19:28:50

I don't know. My instinct says that madness lies in asking for too much detail - it changes nothing and would you know for sure it was the truth?

BUT I have read many threads from betrayed wives who felt unable to move on until they had all the intimate details. I hope someone with some experience (either way) will be along to offer some better advice.

Its still such early days. so many conflicting emotions and no clarity, nothing to hold on to, because what you thought was solid, has been thrown up in the air.

How did the day go? how is H?

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 19:43:14

I'm not a jealous person usually. I believe in counting my blessings and not focussing on what I don't have
But I'm so jealous
He fucked her
It still feels like a secret they have that he knows exactly what happened between them and I don't
But that way lies madness. Or does it?
The details would hurt. My imagination hurts too.
Which is worse?

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 19:43:36

Stupid double post. Grrr

Clichecliche Sun 15-Sep-13 19:45:52

I'm just going out to see a good friend.
I'm a lot calmer. Such a roller coaster
He's ok. We had the best talk as a couple sharing our innermost feelings that we've had in at least the 3 years its been since dd2 was born
Why did it take this to really talk?

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 19:54:41

Because he couldn't be arsed before and was enjoying being the victim of circumstance and indulging himself accordingly?

pausingforbreath Sun 15-Sep-13 20:50:03

When my 'Dh' admitted his affair, he gave me full disclosure.
Regarding the 'actual sex' , I decided that I didn't want the full details of how, duration, positions etc.
But I also told him that I assumed it was the best sex he'd ever had, real down and dirty mind blowing orgasmic,with no inhibition and that was what I have worked on in my head - the worst senario.
As we had the conversation , I also told him I neither wanted him to confirm or deny my assumption.

I have no confirmed scenarios in my head , so I don't have confirmed 'pictures' in my head to contend with.

It works for me - wouldn't expect it to work for anyone else. No one can say what will work for you - but you.

I know they had sex , that was enough - for me, how would the details and descriptions help me.

To be honest , for me the 'affair' - his emotional and time contribution , the betrayal of actually choosing to have an affair was 'worse' than the sexual acts they performed within the affair. Again, I appreciate that could be my personal experience and not everyone reacts the same....

Good luck with what you are facing.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 01:03:52

Time out with friend was good but I got all anxious by the end and needed to go home. He was frantic and scared too. God we are both so fucked up. He keeps wanting me to punish him somehow. I've told him his punishment is to live with this and to have the balls to address stuff now and to try to make it up to me in a million ways. Shouting and screaming or throwing him out or taking things away from him that he enjoys would be more satisfying but would be better for him. I'm not going to make this easy
We talked a bit about sex and intimacy and skimmed the details. I don't know if I know enough but it has helped.
I'm working tomorrow which will be tough. I feel the need to be near him. He's coming over to my end of town for the day so he can check in and we can have lunch and I can know there's no fear of him seeing her. Not that I think he wants to but it's nice to know he's willing to offer to be checked up on like that. Hoping I sleep

Vivacia Mon 16-Sep-13 06:12:34

I hope you did get some sleep. I think you are right to refuse to punish him. I think he has to take responsibility for making amends, not you.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 07:22:12

I've always been a morning person. Not now
I'm awake and the realisation hits me all over again like the first time
My husband fucked another woman

shootfromthehip Mon 16-Sep-13 07:39:12

cliche, I have been lurking and just wanted to offer my support. I cannot imagine how awful you feel. I admire the idea that you will forgive him but my concern is that you will be eaten up by the resentment of what he has done. Do you want to inflict more hurt onto yourself as you try to keep your family together. I'm not shouting LTB but perhaps it would be better for you and for him for him to work on his problems apart from you. At some point you internalise this more than you should as he talks you through all the problems that lead to the affair.

Fundamentally the problem was caused by him wanting excitement and attention that is not appropriate in a marriage. It doesn't sound like you have done anything other than support him. He has repayed that by betraying your trust. You need to think long and hard about how big a betrayal this is and whether or not, in the long run, you'll be able to live with it? If he doesn't like you having power, can you imagine how he'll hate this when the dust has settled?

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 10:21:12

I don't think it was excitement actually. Just he was flattered by someone who "needed him"
I am aware there will now always be a real power differential if we are together as opposed to the bull shit he created in his own mind. Can we get through that? I don't know
But I'm not throwing him out to wallow in self pity which is what he would do. It is much more powerful for him to see what he has done and have to address it.
He's facing stuff. He has an appointment for an STI check. He's doing more than he has for years in terms of the family. He's keen (in fact keener than me just now) to go to marriage type counselling and is looking for someone who has experience of significant mental health problems as well as marriage counselling skills. I think he's right in this as his history of suicide attempts (way back when he first for ill in 2006) might scare off some
Will it last? Who knows?
I'm letting him get on with it. Not enabling him. Old habits die hard but I'm letting go.
That side of this is fine. The trauma of how this has hurt me is a very different thing.

Upnotdown Mon 16-Sep-13 10:38:03

OP - we could have the same DP! Can't believe how similar our stories are. I'm over a year down the line though. We stuck together (we have 2 DC, 14 and 6) and have a better relationship in the aftermath (as much as it kills me and I say that through gritted teeth). It was a very tough 12 months afterwards - all I can say is, there will come a time, whatever you decide to do, where it won't be the first/last thing on your mind everyday. Put yourself first for now. I would highly recommend him staying somewhere else whilst you dust yourself down x

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 10:57:57

I might send him away for a weekend but I want him at home as I'm not dealing with all the family stuff on my own. Then I'd never get time for me.
He's not pressuring me so its ok for now

Upnotdown Mon 16-Sep-13 11:05:50

The purpose it served for me (asking him to leave) was to show him that I was capable of doing all of the family stuff alone, capable financially etc - I didn't need him there. I wanted him to know that he had been there up to that point not because I NEEDED him but because I WANTED him there.

After the revelation of what he'd been up to whilst I was feeing guilty for working too much, stressing too much, not giving him enough attention, I wanted him to know what it was like when I didn't just not NEED him but also when I didn't WANT him either.

The attention that he'd been getting elsewhere to make up for me 'neglecting' him lost it's shine really fucking quickly.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 11:26:38

I can see that
I think my DH is in no doubt I can manage without him
He's absented himself in all ways but his presence - all fucking ways as I've now discovered
The only thing I needed was his love and fidelity.

ownbrand Mon 16-Sep-13 13:27:33

This sounds horribly familiar , and i think your right about what they learn when they are very young . Its serious deep stuff and it takes an awful lot to change. Having said that many people have similar experiences and dont resort to cheating.

Nobody likes to acknowledge this but people who have affairs often suffer withdrawal lovey type symptoms when they can no longer see the affair partner .It is not unusual for them to continue the affair and you would be horrified how many people do this.

Many will disagree but exposure to her husband is the ONLY way to ensure this doesnt happen. I did this and my only regret is that the Ow husband didnt confront my partner . Also , considering the type of people they often are ( cowards ) , a dose of reality often works wonders .

You will have no way of knowing whether they are still in contact or if there still meeting up. Regardless of what he says he will miss the buzz of meeting up with her . Two sets of eyes are better than one.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 14:39:34

Considering the STI symptoms I'm still having I imagine I will be confronting him. I have no idea how to. I don't know his surname or where they live. She's just moved house and she doesn't have the same surname as his anyway. It will take some sleuthing but I will do it

Vivacia Mon 16-Sep-13 15:52:57

Did you get your appointment for an STI check?

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 15:56:36

Yes. Wednesday sad

Wellwobbly Mon 16-Sep-13 16:08:31

"It still feels like a secret they have that he knows exactly what happened between them and I don't
But that way lies madness. Or does it?"

Nope. That is the pain of an affair. That they are on the inside with someone else and you are on the outside. It hurts like a bitch.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 16:23:17

It really really does
I've nearly got through a day at work. I feel totally strung out and anxious as hell
I've asked him for the dates and more details re the sex. I need more information. On one level I need to hear him say more about it because I just find it do hard to believe.

ownbrand Mon 16-Sep-13 16:45:44

Your H should be willing to give you those details about where she lives ect.

When asking him questions i would expect to hear what is known as trickle truth , a bit of the truth a bit at a time, all under duress . I would strongly advise you to write down privateley what he tells you as this often changes. As horrible as it is i would also ask if there has been other affairs or flings.

If hes not willing to be honest , call his bluff and tell him if he cant be honest you will go to the Ow house / work and get the details of her.

Do you have all his passwords to the computer ?

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 16:53:12

I've asked him already re others. He says not.
He doesn't use computers. He has a phone and I always had the code. He just deleted all texts which I should have seen was an issue but he deleted texts from me and his brother too so there weren't any from anyone to raise suspicion. She has just moved house. I know that's true because it was in one of the texts I read on Friday. She doesn't work. Thick chav bitch on benefits despite her husband working. He lives away in the week so from benefits point of view she's a single parent. Hope when he's away he's shagging half the country.
I've told him no trickle truth and I'm asking a lot and he's telling me straight off the cuff without time to think up a story. He knows no contact and no lies is a condition of not losing me. He's suddenly terrified. I can see that in his eyes.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 16-Sep-13 17:49:35

Re details about sex - everyone is different but I needed to know who initiated the sex, where & when and what they did that could be classed as risky (e,g anal).

For me, it was/is the emotional intimacy, secrecy and deceit that hurt me far more than the sexual stuff. I was most angry about being made a fool of and that the past several months or so was made a complete farce - nothing was real.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 19:04:33

Trickle truth
She told him her husband and her no longer have sex. Which I doubt is true
I bloody hope it is though on account her husband is bisexual

lemonstartree Mon 16-Sep-13 19:25:30

she may have TOLD your H this, whether its true or not is entirely another matter. what a crap thing to have to deal with

Trigglesx Mon 16-Sep-13 19:36:07

Unfortunately, he could have told her all sorts of things about you as well - things that are not true. It's shitty alright.

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 19:54:00

I stupidly phoned her to see if she's had an HIV test

Cue screaming match. All this crap about their special connection. Horrid. Hysterical. I've lost the moral high ground a touch

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 20:02:54

You haven't lost the moral high ground at all.

saferniche Mon 16-Sep-13 20:30:57

not at all.

lemonstartree Mon 16-Sep-13 21:27:03

Not at all; you are not the one who broke your marriage vows and fucked another woman's husband. 'special connection' my arse; skulking around getting her excitement from betraying her husband is about all specialness she had.

don't waste another thought on her

Clichecliche Mon 16-Sep-13 23:34:15

I feel sorry for her. She's a total disaster. I called her on her weaknesses. I made him tell her he won't see her again and never loved her. I was vicious. She texted me to apologise. I am not vindictive but I was downright cruel. Deliberately sought to do as much damage as possible.
She has kids. Ok she should have thought of that but I don't want to hurt the kids and destroying her would. And of course it being a small town I know the kids

Anyway. Me and DH are talking and talking and talking. I've been reading about hysterical bonding. I want to shag his bloody brains out. He says no. Not healthy. We need to ensure we are clean and then build up our intimacy slowly.
Great now he discovers sexual boundaries.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 23:45:26

Cliche, you might want to Advanced Search WhenWillIFeelNormal (WWIFN) - she and her H did reconcile after a lot of work - and she had sex during that time.

Wellwobbly Tue 17-Sep-13 07:09:08

Ciche, about that special connection?

Get Mr Lover to ring her up. On speakerphone. With you in the room. He has to talk to her, and you need to listen to what he says.

Put this BS to bed.

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 07:17:30

He did with me in the room, not on speaker phone tell her they couldn't see each other again and that he'd never lived her
I have deleted her number off both our phones. Actually he did off his and he had changed his number so there is no way he or I can phone her again.
His statements to her were not what i would have wanted but they will have to do. He hesitated before saying he never loved her. He said "we can't see each other" as opposed to "I don't want to see you"
But she's not contactable by me. She has moved but he's knows approximately where to. I'm still scared he will go to see her sad

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 17-Sep-13 09:18:04

He won't have sex with you?

Wellwobbly Tue 17-Sep-13 09:37:02

Sorry Cliche he loved her and is still bonded to her. I lived this too.

You get to a stage where you really do understand it isn't about you, and you do deserve better.

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 09:52:22

I'm trying to accept it. I really am
But I'm sure he loves me
This is so painful

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 17-Sep-13 11:57:52

I think his refusal to have sex with you is really horrible of him.

It's the first thing you've said that makes me doubt whether he loves you as anything other than somebody to look after him.

Or maybe he's enjoying the power it gives him to reject you sexually at a time like this.

Whatever it is, it's not good.

Why are you impressed with his "sexual boundaries"?

The problem you have is that he didn't maintain the appropriate boundaries WITH OTHER WOMEN but erected boundaries between you.

And it appears he's still keeping you at arms length, even now.

To have hurt you in this way and still be saying he won't have sex with you until x,y,z has been completed is absolutely outrageous behaviour on his part.

If you feel that having sex again would help you feel better (even temporarily) and help you to bond with him, then if he loves you and wants to rebuild your relationship, WHY IS HE SAYING NO?

It's not appropriate sexual boundaries, that's for bloody sure.

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 13:14:16

No. I have given the completely wrong impression
It's appropriate. No sex until both checked out STI wise. I agree with him. He's got an appointment and so do I. He is holding me and caressing me and kissing me. I'm impressed by his resolve even though he very obviously wants to. I would have last night definitely.
We could use protection but nothing is 100%
I think it is a sign of respecting me although a bit late sad
But I'm looking forward to getting the appointments out of the way

Vivacia Tue 17-Sep-13 13:17:29

What do you think about that term people talk about on here, "hysterical bonding"?

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 17-Sep-13 13:31:21

Given that you have already had sex with him since he shagged his mistress, there is no sense at all in not having sex until you are both (BOTH? Really? So he needs to see your clean bill of health? Where does he think your risk comes from other than him?) tested.

You could easily have sex with a condom if he wanted to.

I think he's using these new found "boundaries" as a way of punishing you for your power in the relationship again.

He's the one who gets to say when you to can resume your sex life?

I wouldn't be happy with that AT ALL.

Vivacia Tue 17-Sep-13 13:33:54

I think the OP's right to get tested and to abstain from sex (although for other reasons).

However, I agree that his disinclination is suspect.

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 14:34:23

I need an STI check because I've had pain and discharge
But I'm only infected by them if I am
And potentially by her DH

He doesn't need to see my results. Obviously.
His appointment is after mine
But we will be making love tonight, safely and without full penetration.
And it may well be hysterical bonding but that's part of it. Right? I am going with how I feel and bring authentic and honest with him. And he's doing the same. I hope and am trying to believe that he is.
He's staying away from our home town the whole time I'm at work and he doesn't have the kids. He's going out of his way to avoid places he might see her.
But I'm worried that after my rant she will be "worried about him" and seek him out. And the connection isn't fully severed.
Is closure necessary?

Trigglesx Tue 17-Sep-13 14:55:10

Be careful how much power you hand back to him - it's his currency. It does sound a bit like he was hedging during the phone conversation you listened to.

Something to ponder.... he is capable of abstaining with you, but was apparently incapable of abstaining with her. confused

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 17-Sep-13 14:58:52

"And it may well be hysterical bonding but that's part of it. Right? I am going with how I feel"

I think that's right.

But I'm concerned that he is putting brakes on that.

If you feel ready to make love with him and he is holding back, then that is really bad news.

I also don't really understand the need for him to go to such great lengths to stay out of your home town for fear of running into her.

It's as though if he be in the same town without your presence he would be forced into her arms.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 17-Sep-13 15:05:15

The problem with hysterical bonding is that the betrayed party often feel worse, not better afterwards. Especially if things are still so uncertain and ambivalent.

He may not have infected you yet and if he has a STI (he won't get all the results for a few weeks) he can still infect you the next time you make love (and a condom does not offer 100% protection).

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 17-Sep-13 15:07:16

Something to ponder.... he is capable of abstaining with you, but was apparently incapable of abstaining with her

And probably still IS incapable sad given his fears of running into her and your fears that he still has feelings for her...

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 15:41:37

Maybe. Or is he staying away to reassure me because I'm terrified?
He is not holding out on me. I am getting sorted re STI asap and he is getting checked asap. Then we will bond if it works for us
Does he still have feelings for her? Of course he does. sad
This didn't fizzle out it ended abruptly. He says he won't go searching but she probably will. She thinks they have some amazing special soul mate connection. Because of how it felt when she looked in his eyes.
She won't give him up without a fight IMO. She will pursue and right now he doesn't want to deal with it. He's an emotional coward. Or at least has become one. He conflict avoids and the thought of a confrontation scares him
Is there a role for him writing to her or the two of us going to see her to tell her it's over. Or does he just hide until he feels stronger and she gets the message?

Vivacia Tue 17-Sep-13 15:53:49

It sounds to me that you both have very firm roles to play in this relationship. You as the provider/saver/boss and him as the weak/victim/saved one.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 17-Sep-13 16:18:49

Its his mess - you need to let him sort it out and that means he has to man up and confront her. The best way to do this is for him to call her on speakerphone in your presence.

He sounds like someone who is used to being the child, not taking responsibility, leaving all the shit work to you. This needs to change and he can start now by growing up.

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 16:29:38

I've treated him like a child ever since he got ill and that was my mistake. I'm trying to change that habit
It's up to both of us to get out of destructive patterns
We've too efficiently deleted her number but I could track it down I guess

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 17-Sep-13 16:46:54

Yes, you do need to back off and let him work out what he needs to do.

Not easy I know.

Trigglesx Tue 17-Sep-13 17:22:55

*He says he won't go searching but she probably will. She thinks they have some amazing special soul mate connection. Because of how it felt when she looked in his eyes.
She won't give him up without a fight IMO. She will pursue and right now he doesn't want to deal with it. He's an emotional coward. Or at least has become one. He conflict avoids and the thought of a confrontation scares him
Is there a role for him writing to her or the two of us going to see her to tell her it's over. Or does he just hide until he feels stronger and she gets the message?*

Keep in mind that this is part of the script - it's the "putting the blame on the OW" part. This turns your anger towards her and makes him out to be the "poor man who is being chased and seduced against his will when all he really wants is to be with his wife." It's not spectacularly new. Sorry. You're already starting to look at him as a victim (hide until he feels stronger, confrontation scares him) and her as the aggressor.

ownbrand Tue 17-Sep-13 17:52:04

I feel for you , i wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy.It was the worst experience of my life.

I think this is often about power and ego. To some extent your H has been rewarded with two women at odds over him. Some people say the only way to stop this is to agree with whatever they say , dont fight.
Ie, yes, i have neglected you , yes it sounds like you had something really special , i think you would be happier with her and that i would be happier with someone else , ect ect. People always want what they cannot have.

I stamped this out by stating i wanted an open relationship .

Xales Tue 17-Sep-13 18:00:42

What Trigglesx says

He is doing a cracking job of making it you and him against her sad

ownbrand Tue 17-Sep-13 18:16:53

Many people do write a no contact letter. The thing is they have to mean it. That call should have been made on loudspeaker and your right that he should have said he doesnt want to see her as opposed to cant. Hes not a teen whose been grounded and that reeks of doing it under duress.

She likeley is still contactable by him , he may have memorized her number or have it written or stored somewhere. I would expect there will be some contact between them. What that call tells you is that he has been agreeing with their special connection and other such rubbish.

People in affairs act like teenagers with the other spouse cast in the role of controlling parent who they repeatedly defy.

I think its normal to hate the OW and blame them ( i do) but she could have been anybody. Anybody equally dysfunctional with low self esteem and the capacity to self decieve would have done.

Trigglesx Tue 17-Sep-13 18:39:22

Yes, ownbrand I think it is normal to hate the OW, but when he is actively encouraging it and making her out to be the aggressor in the relationship, that's "playing you" big time. That's "oh I'm not to blame, it's all her - she's going to keep trying to get me back - what can I do, I'm such a studmuffin, she's just in love with poor little me.... oh woe ... oh woe....." hmm

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 18:46:15

He wasn't seduced or raped at gun point. He made the choice to be unfaithful. She knows me. She knows my kids. She Pre all this came to my house to socialise with me. So yes I am angry with her. But his betrayal is much greater. It's not all about her for me. But I was stupid enough to speak to her last night and she was all about their connection and how special it was. She had no intention of letting go. That was obvious.
I know he doesn't have the number memorised as he's totally dyslexic about numbers but it could be written somewhere. He says not.
Either way I have two choices - trust him to keep trying or stop trying myself completely. I don't want to do that.
Yes he could throw it all back in my face but he might not
Not that I'm being naive but no point assuming the worst even though I clearly fear it.
I'm focussing on what I can do. I will not do stuff for him any more. I've backed off. I'm not protecting him from my pain as I always did before (seeing him so ill he nearly died 6 years ago and never talking about how much it hurt, excluding him from all family stresses and money worries in case it upset him). There's practical stuff to be done in the family and I'm leaving it to him or asking his opinion on day to day stuff instead of deciding everything for him. So far he's stepped up to the mark.
I'm not excusing his betrayal but I will not go on treating him
Like a child.
And I'm looking for counselling for me. After my STI checks tomorrow

ModeratelyObvious Tue 17-Sep-13 18:52:05

I think being mad at her for going on about their special connection is very reasonable!

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 17-Sep-13 18:56:04

You do sound very strong - and I am pleased you will be focusing on yourself.

As for him, only he can control his own behaviour so there is no point in trying to stop him from contacting OW.

ownbrand Tue 17-Sep-13 18:56:08

Pity you didnt record it Op .

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 18:59:45

Maybe I'm a bitch but either I believe she was a symptom of his fecklessness and cowardice or she was special. I think the former. And I feel a bit sorry for her because even if we don't end up reconciling he won't end up with her. She's waiting for something she can never have. The whole looking in my eyes special connection - how old is she? 17? Would have cringeworthy even if it wasn't my DH she was talking about.

Clichecliche Tue 17-Sep-13 19:12:21

He says he won't contact her. He is resolved now but I guess in some ways this is like an addiction. I have a food addiction problem - in recovery mostly. Sometimes (like now weirdly) my commitment and resolve to staying on the wagon is absolute. Other times I avoid triggers like the plague because I'm at risk of binging. So if he wants to avoid triggers by staying as close to me as possible as much of the time as he can then I will accept that in the spirit it's being offered. But I know that I'm only a few bad days away from a major binge especially if I'm offered high calorie food at the wrong time.

lemonstartree Tue 17-Sep-13 22:21:17

you are doing really well. There a million 'what if's' in ALL relatioships. At least the OP and her DH are trying to find what is good between them and build on that. If the OP considers all the possible things her Dh could do in the future she might as well file for divorce right now.

despite his behaviour she is choosing to trust what he says. I think that's brave, and given that they have DC and a long relationship, I, at least, can understand why she is prepared to take that risk

If he proves unworthy of that trust, then she can get shot at a later date, knowing for sure that she did everything she could.

Clichecliche Wed 18-Sep-13 00:40:47

Well. Another evening of really talking about some very difficult stuff and some intimacy. No penetrative sex but plenty of making love. Lots of affection. Our dd1 said we were acting like newly weds and is quite disgusted. Perceptive girl. So yes hysterical bonding. If we get clean bills of STI checks I imagine some good fun to come
She texted tonight. A whole dialogue of how I should look after him and blah blah blah I don't deserve him. She's the better person. Wound me up and I showed it to him. We discussed it and I replied directly to say I love him, we are together and she has no real idea about us. Then he texted (using my phone so she doesn't get his new number) to say it is over. Closure. Maybe. Bloody hell. Things happen fast
Still such a roller coaster and dreading tomorrow at gu clinic and do totally stress when he's out. He still wants to be with me when he can and to avoid trigger places but that's ok for now.
Beyond that he's being pretty dynamic about the home, organising stuff and carrying it through. Making plans re work. Long may it continue
We will both crash at some point I'd imagine looking at the infidelity script but hopefully not at the same time. And anger hasn't really made it to the party just yet.

Clichecliche Wed 18-Sep-13 06:31:49

I'm sad this morning
Ok just very sad

lemonstartree Wed 18-Sep-13 14:18:23

hope you are ok ...

sad is, I think, very very normal sad

OrmirianResurgam Wed 18-Sep-13 14:32:00

Hey cliche, chin up my lovely xx

"She knows me. She knows my kids. She Pre all this came to my house to socialise with me. So yes I am angry with her."

Same here. About a month before dday we had a big party for DH (his 50th). DH said she wasn't going to be there because her H wouldn't let her (I don't even know if he was as bad as he was made out to be now). But she turned up and made a big entrance, lots of fussing and clucking over her from all her friends. At one point she called her H to tell him she was leaving and then her mum came and picked her up. I gave her a big hug and told her that if she ever needed to talk I'd be happy to listen. Yuck! Did I ever feel like a fool when I found out the impetus to leave had been the hope that H would change his mind and leave me.

There is no need to divvy up the blame and anger neatly - 80% to the cheating spouse, 20% to the OW. It's perfectly rational to be 100% angry with both of them just in different ways. However regarding OW the goal is indifference.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 18-Sep-13 14:34:20

And yes sad is normal.

Sad because for a while you feel less than special.
Sad because the life you tried to build for your family wasn't enough.
Sad because the things you did for him have been thrown back in your face.
Sad because he simply betrayed your trust.

lemonstartree Wed 18-Sep-13 15:23:26

If someone I knew, who at been in my house, accepted my hospitality, pretended to be my friend then fucked my partner... my God I would want to bloody KILL them...

Clichecliche Wed 18-Sep-13 18:12:52

I'm tired this evening. Brain dead to be honest. Can't write much. But I really appreciate everything I've read. The support and challenge. Good day on the whole. My DH is preparing dinner and I'm watching postman pat with dd2

Vivacia Wed 18-Sep-13 18:15:48

Don't know what to say cliche I think you're handling this in quite a different way to what we normally see.

Clichecliche Wed 18-Sep-13 18:43:13

I'm not sure if that's a compliment or an insult vivacia

Vivacia Wed 18-Sep-13 19:34:53

Certainly not an insult Cliche. Just explaining why I don't know how to support you.

Clichecliche Wed 18-Sep-13 19:39:06

Oh right. I'm ok tonight but its a roller coaster and mornings are rubbish. I'm working on my marriage and working on me the way that seems best for us. Beyond that fuck knows

yellowflag Wed 18-Sep-13 21:01:54

i have just read all of this and I cant believe what i am reading. i think you are doing exactly what you have always done. controlling. just right now you are controlling your emotions.
this smells to me like bullshit. your husband sneaked out and had sex with another woman while you were not at work to take care of him? and you are not angry? then either you are an idiot or you are so good at ignoring what you feel and rationalizing it that you have completely lost sight of what is real. This man is a twat, a complete piss taking arse. he has not worked ( at all ????) for years while you have done everything. and hes so ill he cant do anything, but he can meet up with a friend of yours and make a loving relationship, have sex with her, give you a disease, and you are not mad at him ? i think, sister that you are bonkers. or there is something you are not telling.

elizadofuckall Wed 18-Sep-13 21:12:38

What Yellow said.

Clichecliche Wed 18-Sep-13 21:17:59

Fair enough you're entitled to your opinion. Of course he's done some shitty things. I am still in shock and anger will come. That's the way it goes I'm told
I'm sure in my actions. Whatever the future holds it will be better than the past whether reconciled or not.

youvegotmail Wed 18-Sep-13 21:34:16

Got to agree with Yellow - this doesn't seem like normal human emotion at work. You find out on Friday and by Tuesday you are making lots of love and planning lots of sex after the STI check to find out if your husband's lover's bi husband has give you the STI that you think you have?!? Er, ok...

Really odd. I think you'd benefit from some counselling, in a lot of ways.

Absolutelylost Thu 19-Sep-13 02:23:27

*If someone I knew, who at been in my house, accepted my hospitality, pretended to be my friend then fucked my partner... my God I would want to bloody KILL them...

This happened to me.. She lives 200 yds away. We are in a tiny village and our DD's are in the same class. It hurts me daily and I'm still not sure how to deal with it.

LawofAverages Thu 19-Sep-13 03:46:08

I think posters are being a bit harsh on Cliche. Everyone reacts differently when they find out their partner has been having an affair. There is no 'correct' way to react - your feelings will arrive and change in their own time. Sometimes you will feel anger, sometimes hurt, sometimes confusion and sometimes even like everything is fine and you can forget about it all.

You may not be able to believe at a later stage when the anger hits you how calm or understanding you were at an earlier stage, but that doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you do each day what works for you to get you through that day. Especially in the early stages when it really is a case of one day at a time.

I did all sorts when I found out my ex had cheated (with a friend of mine). One day I would be so angry I would refuse to say a word to him, the next day I'd be playing happy families round at his parents' house as though everything was fine. In the end we did not stay together but that was not the end of the world and I at least felt like I'd gone about things on my terms.

I think you're doing really well Cliche, keep it up!

Wellwobbly Thu 19-Sep-13 05:49:45

"The whole looking in my eyes special connection " - that is what an affair is. It is a fantasy bubble of mutual admiration, what did Shirley Glass say? 'Admiration of the self mirrorred in the affair partners eyes' or something.

The sex is a second to this apparently. OW after OW will say, you don't understand... we talked about everything.

You can sort of see how addictive it is, then.

Chumplady is a bit ruder: But really cheating just all boils down to – ego kibbles. Cheaters need ego kibbles. Lots and lots of kibbles. Shrinks call ego kibbles “narcissistic supply,” but I prefer to think in terms of Narcissist Ego Chow. Cheaters need to feed. They need lots and lots of validation that they’re special, sexy, and understood by only a special chosen few. Problem is, ego kibbles are not very sating, and so they always need more. Part of that problem is the cheater – they’ve got a hole in their soul where empathy and connection should be. So, a person can shovel ego kibbles at the cheater, but they don’t fill up.

The other part is the unfulfilling quality of ego kibbles themselves. Narcissistic supply is like bad chicken feed. It’s full of arsenic, dead chicken bits, and barnyard poop. It’s cheap, commercial grade filler. It’s crap.

What’s in a bag of Narcissist Ego Chow? Flattery. Attention. Easy sex. Admiration without accomplishment. Shallow attachment. Infatuation. Fantasy. Centrality.

Cheaters prefer kibbles to love. Love requires reciprocity and connection. Love is messy and demanding. Kibbles are easier.

Vivacia Thu 19-Sep-13 07:08:23

I think that there's an issue here of some of us wanting Cliche to be angry and vengeful and not let him get away with it so easily. Another group of us, overlapping with the first, want to protect Cliche from the hurt she might feel if/when the anger hits us and she regrets the intimacy and immediate forgiveness she's given.

I'm not convinced that cliche's way is wrong. Just because it wasn't my approach, doesn't mean she's wrong. But it is difficult to offer support.

cantreachmytoes Thu 19-Sep-13 08:14:32

I've just come across this thread and read all the way through.

This has never happened to me, so I can't speak from personal experience.

Cliche is doing amazingly. Not because she's not feeling rage enough to want to rip him to shreds, but because she's following how she feels, being "authentic". In any situation that'd important.

As for it being wrong, as some are implying, that she's not full of rage, from what I understand (and imagine), this is one of the worst things that can happen in life, like the death of someone you're close to. Some people react in mourning by falling apart, others don't cry..until one day, out of the blue, it hits them.

OP, I can only imagine how this feels, but for what it's worth, I think you're getting through these horrific days in an amazing way.

Clichecliche Thu 19-Sep-13 08:24:14

Morning thoughts

How is attacking me supposed to be helpful. I am not as angry as I should be. I do not doubt it will come. I am still in shock. It was less than a week ago. I'm anxious and numb. You may not think those are normal emotions but they are mine. I want to reclaim him sexually which I was surprised at but it's apparently quite common. Who knew?

Is there something I'm not telling you? Not really. Unless its the utter extent of our fractured relationship since 2006. I'm not rewriting history. He was more ill than I imagine any of you believe. We were let down by the nhs and I was left traumatised. His psychiatrist said - if he kills himself, he kills himself. There's nothing I can do to stop it. He damn nearly did. I saw the ligature marks around his neck and the pressure effects from an aborted hanging around his eyes. I never dealt with it. I have not gone into our garage for 7 years as a result. Rug sweeping? Oh yes. I overprotected him ever since, made him feel unnecessary by damn near dressing him and he stayed in a child like state. Our sex life was rare and unsatisfying. I cried on many friends shoulders that he hadn't died but the man I loved was gone forever and I tried to learn to settle. I filled my time with work, hobbies and fantasies about Gene Hunt.
And he kept secrets from me because I didn't like anything he was doing in case it was too much. I wouldn't let him look for work.
We had another child to paper over the cracks
Then he started an inappropriate friendship with someone who was not a friend of the marriage. And eventually he obviously fucked her.
Not a rewrite, the facts. He has been an utter bastard. I love him. And now all the lies and little deceits - they were from both sides not EA type stuff from me but lies - are gone. I can see the man I thought had gone forever.
Someone said that infidelity was the worst thing they'd ever experienced. Not for me. Telling my 8 year old son his father might die was worse and at the time nobody in the so called caring professions gave a shit

Interestingly 4 real world friends, 2 who know DH well and 2 who don't. 2 divorced and happy and 2 married. They all think I'm doing the right thing. They know me. They know our history.

I think perhaps I should stick with them as I'm causing people concern on MN.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 19-Sep-13 09:04:01

We are concerned about your welfare - as I said before, hysterical bonding often causes even more pain and distress to the betrayed party (who will be in a very vulnerable state), especially when the reality of the situation hits them.

Have you found a counsellor yet? It sounds like you also had a very traumatic time dealing with his depression and suicide attempt. Maybe this could be your priority? You need to be well and strong to deal with the next several months.

The other point I will make is that we all are responsible for our own happiness - we are not responsible for other people's happiness so if someone is unhappy then its down to this person to sort her/himself out.

Take care.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 19-Sep-13 09:11:58

And the good thing about MN is that we offer advice that is based on actual personal experience and as we do not know you, it is unbiased i.e no vested interests.

While the support of friends and family in real life is vital, remember that they may find change difficult, will want things to be like the good old days and also may not want to come across as critical for fear of losing you so may say things you want to hear. I know I am guilty of doing this when RL friends seek my advice - its much harder telling them what you really think in real life. On MN, we tell you how it is even though its not what you want to hear and this is what saved my marriage and my own sanity.

Cliche, your life seems utterly traumatic and I'm not surprised at any of the ways you have behaved. I do think you need some counselling for yourself. You are very self aware but you are dealing with too much to manage on your own.

elizadofuckall Thu 19-Sep-13 09:58:48

I am wondering if you perhaps need some kind of debrief from your husbands attempt to take his own life. It is very common for psychiatrists to be that blunt because at the end of the day, no one can stop someone from taking their own life. Maybe along the lines of a chat with a psychologist or a person centered counsellor. As for the things within the relationship now, from an outside perspective you seem strangely detatched from it all. I would hazard a guess that you are just not ready to cope with more distress right now.

Yes, all this has taken its toll on you, OP. I went through something similar to you and I can appreciate you not wanting to go into the garage. This is post traumatic stress. Did you have any counselling about this?

elizadofuckall Thu 19-Sep-13 10:00:14

Also, i have done the hysterical bonding thing and although i am still with my husband, i absolutely hate myself for letting that happen.

mummytime Thu 19-Sep-13 10:05:21

I think that last post in its wn way explains a lot.

You are too calm. But from that post it is clear that you yourself have a lot of psychological damage, and a lot to deal with.
It seems to me like there is a huge dam in your life, and you would be terrified to let it down, or do anything but try to repair the cracks because of just how much "water" is behind it.

I can understand that.

I do find it absolutely terrifying that you can have a garage that you haven't been in for 7 years.

Please please get yourself some help. I know you have been let down in the past, but please seek help.

OrmirianResurgam Thu 19-Sep-13 11:34:35

"I think posters are being a bit harsh on Cliche. Everyone reacts differently when they find out their partner has been having an affair. There is no 'correct' way to react - your feelings will arrive and change in their own time. Sometimes you will feel anger, sometimes hurt, sometimes confusion and sometimes even like everything is fine and you can forget about it all."

Quite. FFS! Something hideously traumatic has happened and now people are piling in telling her she's doing it all wrong. There isn't a right way and a wrong way, there is just your own way. I got upset on MN after dday because I was being told all kinds of things about H and our marriage that just confused me and upset me. It was helpful without a doubt but an awful lot of the apocalyptic stuff turned out not to be true and were simply projection.

FWIW I didn't get angry until a month or so after. I was mainly hurt and confused. It's like being caught in a fierce rainstorm - you can just about catch your breath and keep on your feet but the ground is slippery, you can't see more than a few feet and you are overwhelmed. There might be sensible way to react but in the event everyone does their own thing. Once the anger comes it tends to stay around for a long time and although it has helped me demand the things I needed from H it can also be fairly destructive.

lemonstartree Thu 19-Sep-13 11:43:28

I think the ONLY thing that can be said about such a horrendous discovery is that most of us don't have a clue what we would do. All you can do is what feels right ? all you can do is try to get through each day

fwiw if a couple have children I do believe its right to try, if possible to hod the family together. I am divorced with children but I tried for a long time to hold together a failing marriage. When I look back, I know with certainty that I could not have done more

Maybe the OP need to feel that if she cant reconcile with her DH she has at least tried as hard as she could.

MN is here to support people, most of whom are in situations into which we only get a tiny glimpse. Respecting OP's actions and emotions, to deal with HER personal betrayal any way she can is surely what MN is about ?

Clichecliche Thu 19-Sep-13 12:11:25

I absolutely have PTSD. Absolutely.
I need a counsellor. I've made initial contact re seeing someone. It will be privately. I would never go nhs mental health services locally.
I've utterly failed myself and then my marriage by pretending everything was fine. Yes he's responsible for his own happiness but so am I. I've not been happy for years and I've bullied him. Imagine my DH posting on MN about how I lied about money, wouldn't let him go out, wouldn't let him work, did everything for him. I imagine LTB would be a common comment.
He was scared of me. I had turned into a controlling bully although I thought I was just looking after him. And he was bullied badly as a child and it fed into all those issues.
He had an affair but even if he hadn't we were not in a good place.
Now what? Seriously I'm completely numb about the affair And anxious and sad. And I need to get my head sorted and recover. Everyone at the time said cliche you're so amazing, look what you coped with. So I got into a role. I don't want that role. I want to be me again
And I'm reminded why I loved him as an equal for 10 years before it all crashed. Is it really wrong to try to reclaim that?

ModeratelyObvious Thu 19-Sep-13 12:37:05

Hang in there, cliche. Some couples get through this and you and DH may well do so.

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 13:13:11

There are huge similarities in the way that I reacted after discovering my husband's affair. As someone said, I look back now with amazement at my responses but I've learned that shock is the most peculiar state of mind. My gut instinct was that this was survivable, but the adrenaline surge took me by surprise and was actually not unpleasant. All of my senses felt on high alert and during the hysterical bonding phase, it even occurred to me that this was what an affair must feel like.

But like an affair, this phase is not 'real'.

The really difficult stuff comes afterwards when the shock and adrenaline have worn off, so I'm hoping you'll see this as a kindness to pre-warn you about some things.

I'd also say that unless you've felt this way yourself, or have been through it, it's just impossible to say how you'd react. My own reaction shocked me too.

We learned so much from our individual counselling and from reading more or less everything there was to read at the time (was years ago, incidentally.) So I'll share with you that it's really common for the person who's the 'under-responsible' part of the couple to have an affair.

From what you're saying, your circumstances were different to mine, but there are some similarities in that my husband had let me take on too much responsibility for our joint lives and we'd got into a pattern of me being the one who seemed to have the greatest burden for keeping the show on the road, despite having a busy and demanding career.

You're right to look at your own behaviour but I promise you, this is too soon and I'd also judge that you're coming to the wrong conclusions about it. If you're partnered with someone who is either unable or unwilling to be an equal partner, unless you want your children to lose out or your own life to become chaotic and disorganised, you have no choice other than to fill the breach. It's hard not to feel resentful of that, but the answer is not to stop doing things or to somehow stop feeling resentful.

The answer should have been for him to take responsibility for his own health and his efforts to be an equal partner.

Instead of doing that, it's my hunch that rather than face up to those responsibilities, he secretly punished you for your competence and your justifiable resentment, by having an affair with someone who had no requirement for him to be grown up and responsible. All he was required to do was to be adoring and sexual and the same went for her.

As long as this thread is useful to you, it can be a very good thing to write down your feelings. I guarantee one day you'll look back and won't recognise yourself though. So don't make any irrevocable decisions and definitely don't decide that this marriage will work and you will forgive. It's a long haul and you can't know that yet.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 19-Sep-13 13:32:30

Cliche, no its not wrong, but you need to look after yourself first. Once you feel stronger and have processed all your thoughts and emotions, you will be in a much better position to make long term decisions.

My quote about being responsible for one own's happiness was actually targeted at you - the past few years has been very much about him and the balance needs to be addressed.

Wellwobbly Thu 19-Sep-13 13:48:29

Cliche I hope I have not attacked you?

There are stages to this: shock and numbness, a very strange 'high', and also what you are showing, a tremendous need to find answers in which you are involved and responsible and had your part to play. If you had a part to play, it can then be fixed by you!

You have to go through all the phases, and sadly Cliche you are only at the start of the rollercoaster...

Don't worry, we will be with you. We have been on this horrible ride.

elizadofuckall Thu 19-Sep-13 14:45:29

Its cant be wrong cliche. You want what you want and none of us can tell you any different. Its just that when you are listening/reading to this from the outside, some things are jumping out.

I realise that you have no trust in the services but you should try them again as acute is very different from the other mental health services.

ownbrand Thu 19-Sep-13 15:46:52

A person who has recently discovered infidelity is often in a state of shock, similar to a bereaved person. There is no right or wrong way to react . Sheer adrenilin gets people through the initial days . Not something id like to experience again , ever.

You did your absolute best and who's to say that if you'd done things any different there'd have been no affair and a happier marriage? You've done what so many women do - held it all together, been strong for everyone and been generally pretty damn amazing. Don't forget that x

Wellwobbly Fri 20-Sep-13 19:02:54

*If someone I knew, who at been in my house, accepted my hospitality, pretended to be my friend then fucked my partner... my God I would want to bloody KILL them...

This happened to me.. She lives 200 yds away. We are in a tiny village and our DD's are in the same class. It hurts me daily and I'm still not sure how to deal with it. - Lost, what an absolutely hideous story.

So sorry. Are you OK?

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