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

Cautionary Tale from OW

(129 Posts)
fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 12:54:36

I was relentlessly pursued by a MM whilst also married myself. This continued for the last three years. I take full responsibility for my actions but now I find myself:

On the verge of a nervous breakdown
Seeing a counsellor every week to try and get back the parts of me I lost during this damaging time
I've lost everything - my husband, my home, my job, my friends
Am on the receiving end of frequent and distressing text messages from MM's wife (and rightly so)
Grieving for two relationships - the MM (as stupid as that sounds) and my lovely dh
Devastated by the hurt i've caused dh who in no way wishes to reconcile (and who can blame him)

Whilst NOTHING has changed for MM (he is back in his marriage) - I have to start again from scratch. I'm a shell of my former self and can't see past this.

I can't eat/sleep/concentrate. I'm such a mess. Please help.

Putitonthelist Sat 05-Oct-13 13:20:59

These things rarely end well and I'm sorry that things are such a mess for you. But you can and will recover from this.

Is your marriage definitely over? Do you have DC? Your MM has made his choice so please don't waste anymore head space on him. Block his wife on your phone, her anger should be with him not you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 05-Oct-13 13:25:34

We all make bad decisions and some of them have rough consequences. Anyone who has never made a mistake is lying. I think, rather than berating yourself for being human (or inviting others to flame you) and wallowing in guilt, all you can do is learn from the experience and move forward best you can. The MM's wife should be told to back off... there's being annoyed and then there's persecuting someone... so don't tolerate persecution. Good luck

fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 13:44:25

Yes, dh won't reconsider for a second. He hates me. No DC - dh wanted to start trying before all this sad

Missbopeep Sat 05-Oct-13 13:44:27

How have you lost everything? What about your job? Was he a colleague?
Have you friends deserted you in a judgy fashion?
Are there any bridges you can build so you don't have to start all over again?
How old are you?

TombOfMummyBeerest Sat 05-Oct-13 13:50:13

It's a crap situation, but starting over may not be a bad thing. Hard as it is.

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 13:51:39

I'm very sorry you're feeling so bad.

Can you write down what you think would make your life better again? Realistic things though- not any 'turning back the clock' wallowy stuff.

One of the first things that struck me about your post though was the contradiction. You say the MM pursuded you relentlessly but you take full responsibility. I think part of taking full responsibility is to realise that his pursuit, relentless or otherwise, was irrelevant. Of course we say the same to women in the MM's wife's position- it doesn't matter how predatory the OW was- your husband should have said no and he should stop blaming the OW for his behaviour. This is truly, no different.

I'm sure the OM's wife is in pain and that's why she's contacting you. However you don't say what she's asking or saying, just that it's distressing for you. If you tell us more, perhaps we can help with that boundary?

Fragglewump Sat 05-Oct-13 13:53:44

You live and's only terrible if you keep making the same mistake. Things will get better for you. I assume you have apologised to dh for your crap behaviour?

KnockMeDown Sat 05-Oct-13 13:59:41

It is perhaps a blessing that you have no DC with your DH - it will enable you to have a clean break - though I appreciate that is hard for to hear right now.

Does the MM have DC with his wife? Perhaps that is what is keeping them together? I agree that his wife should not be haranguing you - her issue is with her husband, though maybe by putting the blame on you, she can bring herself to forgive him.

But really, that is none of your concern now. You need to look at you. Things cannot have been so rosy between you and your DH for you to have succumbed to this guy. I would look at those issues, and sort yourself out, and then you will be in a better place to move forward with your life.

tessa6 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:01:13

I'm sorry, OP. I promise things will get better and life has served you a nasty deal here.

But there is much to learn from it and actually, in a strange way, you are free.

You are consumed with feelings of loss and that feels dreadful but actually the reality is different. By giving in to his pursuit and conducting the affair you were playing out some part of you that wanted something. You now either understand/realise that you don't really need that thing OR you do and are free to find it in a life without a lying, cheating charmer. Both of these are better positions to be in than the one you have spent the last 3 years in. You no longer have to lie, feel stressed, tense, anxious. You are free and you are honest now. Broken but honest.

Please buy 'Tiny Beautiful Things' by Cheryl Strayed and read it from cover to cover.

You thin OM is laughing? Oh no. Many people who remain in relationships post affair where the other affair partner doesn't suffer immense jealousy of the new found freedom of the old lover. He is in the same situation as before, but with a hugely damaged relationship. So the marriage he had before was not strong enough (on his end) to prevent him cheating. Do you really think it will be now? He is going to be starting from scratch too and it will be horrible an hard, full of trust issues, doubt, acrimony and never the same again. You could start afresh, eventually with someone who loves you for you, who knows none of this firsthand and who you trust completely and trusts you. Every time he walks out the door she will be wondering where he's going. he will be heavy and stressed about what time he comes back, he will sense her checking his emails. He will grow weary and tired and grouchy. She will grow paranoid and furious and depressed.

It's a mess what you've done. But you are not responsible for his marriage, he is. Move on. You can do it. You are stronger now, not weaker, because you are wiser. We all fuck up. The people you think get away with things short term rarely actually do long term.

You'll be okay. You haven't lost everything. You are just in shock and this too will pass.

redundantandbitter Sat 05-Oct-13 14:02:32

I know people are going to be so judgemental. .. Oh hun.., this was me several years ago. My exP wouldn't discuss. Moved out and married a work colleague 11minths later... There was no way either of us wanted a reconciliation. Do you want your marriage or not? My ex recently told me I did him a favour and how it's all worked out for him. The relationship was dead.i don't regret it ending, just the way it happened. If you are moving on then make sure you stay NC with MM. Mine came back and caused more heartache for everyone involved. Mm's wife sent about message, texts endils and its all very hard. I bitterly regretted hurting her.a big fat mess..don't be tempted to talk to her. How long did this last? It does get better, promise

tessa6 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:06:50

Oh yes, NEVER contact OM again. I know that's hard but you will heal so much faster.

payhisdebt Sat 05-Oct-13 14:10:55

great advice from tessa.
the Cheryl strayed book was instrumental in me leaving my 16 year marriage . buy it now .
also buy Paul mcKenna , I can mend your broken Heart .
good luck x

payhisdebt Sat 05-Oct-13 14:12:32

what sort of text from the wife ?

Chubfuddler Sat 05-Oct-13 14:14:31

If his wife is harassing you then you really so need to stamp on that. Send one text back, or better a solicitor's letter, stating that you consider her behaviour to be harassment and if it continues you will report it to the police. You've behaved badly but that doesn't give her the right to torture you.

And I agree with everyone else. This is an opportunity for you. Make the most of it.

Missbopeep Sat 05-Oct-13 14:16:08

Where are you now in terms of the practical stuff?
Has your home been sold?
Do you have a job?
Where is your support in real life?
Are you relocating, finding another job- what's happening day to day?

As someone else said, don't make yourself feel you are a victim. You weren't pursued- you were 50% of that affair.

Is the affair over because you were found out by his wife?
Was there every any chance of you being together?

I suppose what I am asking you is- are you grieving over a fantasy life that was never going to happen, and are you annoyed at yourself for believing there was a future with the OM?

You need to forgive yourself and move on - what can you do to make that happen?

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 14:24:35

I think it's more a case of the MM not being strong enough to prevent himself from cheating Tessa, not his marriage having some arbitrary preventative qualities of its own. Maybe you worded that clumsily? You don't usually come out with lines like that.

I also think that's some projection about what his marriage will be like now! Comforting though it might be for the OP to think that, IME that doesn't always happen. Some couples see an affair as a big wake-up call either about their former behaviour as individuals (mainly the behaviour of the one who's strayed) and/or the dynamics of their former marriage.

We can support this poster without injecting projections and falsehoods.

Idespair Sat 05-Oct-13 14:33:23

Ok it was a monumental mistake but you have realised that and admitted it so you need to focus on how to move forwards. You will need some time to grieve for the relationships and during this time try to be kind to yourself and then you must put it behind you. Think of the future.

tessa6 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:33:32

Perhaps, Fran. I'm being very specific to this poster here. I apologise for causing offense.

When I say the marriage is not strong enough (on his end) that's what I mean. HIS end of the marriage was weak. Him. He is and was weak. That could change, of course. I have no idea. But this poster describes a conquistador of an OM. That's a specific kind, the relentless pursuer. And it's based in a very specific sense of challenge and narcissism. It's highly unlikely someone like that just becomes it overnight with one person.

i do not wish to denigrate the relationships of anyone post affair, my own included. But we know from our own experiences and the many posters here that it's a hard hard road. And the OW thinking that he has lost nothing and she has lost everything is a deeply psychologically damaging and false perspective that can lead to real depression and foolish actions (like OW we have heard from here who have wanted to get 'revenge' and such like.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 05-Oct-13 14:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Sat 05-Oct-13 14:43:16

You're a vision of my own sister's future (see my thread).... maybe I should show her this.

Trouble is, if you were like my DSis is being at the moment, you were blinded by it all, and only now can you see what you've done.

You can't change what you did, but you can learn and move on. Consider this a very difficult lesson, but one you only have to go through once and it's done now. You'll be a better person for this.

Don't be too hard on yourself.

Wellwobbly Sat 05-Oct-13 14:57:37

Hi, please remember that the wife is in a lot of pain. She is in a situation through no actions of her own and she is trying to make sense of it all, and let you know how much she is hurting through YOUR actions. Forget Mr Lover. YOU made yourself available to the deceitful twat and agreed to become deceitful yourself.

As that wife this is what I would appreciate: a full letter of apology from you. Telling the whole story of how it started with nothing left out. Just the unvarnished truth. And if that lands MM in it, all his promises what he said etc that kept you hooked in, well that is up to his lying arse to sort out.

Tell her you are seriously being slammed by your consequences and that is punishment enough.

Then give her the boundary: that you have apologised, showed her remorse and the 100% truth, and that if she contacts you again that will constitute harrassment.

75% of marriages rocked by affairs fail. They could be swiftly cut off like your DH who values himself, or in the case of wives trying to eat the shit sandwich of hurt and humiliation whilst 'reconciling', they tend to slowly bleed to death as the cheater keeps running from what he has done and does not provide the honesty self reflection and reassurance that is needed.

Get thee to counselling and try to take this time to look at a couple of things. Never stop apologising to DH.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 05-Oct-13 15:05:38

A full letter of apology? You think that's going to stop a bitter DW from sending nasty texts etc? hmm Sorry, I think the OP has to do her level best to leave this whole thing in the past as a big mistake to be regretted and cut contact with everyone involved if she's to move on. Some individual counselling may also be necessary.

Missbopeep Sat 05-Oct-13 15:19:48

A letter to the DW?

Bonkers. Rub salt in the wound for her perhaps?
For all we know she may have had numerous affairs herself.

Is the intention of a letter to try to break up the marriage which they MAY be salvaging, or for the OP to get it all off her chest?

Whichever, it's a barmy suggestion.

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 15:22:16

No personal offence taken at all Tessa! But although you're right that when people have affairs, they aren't at that point as committed to their marriages as would be ideal, I don't think all MM think of it in those terms. Some see an affair as a diversion, or an optional extra that in their warped rationale, doesn't have to affect their marriages at all. I don't think it helps OW to be thinking about their exes marriages in any case. Better to confine any analysis to what they actually know which is the behaviour of the man, not why he might have done it, or what his marriage was and will be like in the future.

I don't really hold with all that stuff about relentless pursuers or types either. It's a distraction. I think people like to let themselves off the hook that the OW or OM was a predator, but even if he or she was a player with known form for chasing extra-marital activity, allowing oneself to be played is a choice. That's not to say people aren't more vulnerable to that at lifepoints, or more vulnerable as people because of low self-esteem but it's a case of taking responsibility for it and forgiving yourself if you think you were vulnerable.

You're right that if the DW gets it right, her husband's life will be uncomfortable and trust will be a long way off, but sad to say I've seen some folk get caught up in the honeymoon period or worse still, blame themselves for the whole thing.

I don't interpret the DW's communications as being 'bitter' necessarily. The OP has said they are 'distressing'. The woman's probably in pain, just like the OP. Until we know what the DW's saying, I'd hesitate to demonise the DW. Until we hear back from the OP about what the wife seems to want from the exchanges between them, suggestions of letters or calling her bitter seem very premature.

Snugglepiggy Sat 05-Oct-13 15:27:44

As the wife I told OW face to face in no uncertain terms what her relentless flirting ,texting and declaration of love had done to me and our marriage and how sorry I felt for her DH ,ripped to shreds by the same gut wrenching emotions.This in no way exonerated my DH and the massive part he played in their deceitful and disrespectful months of inappropriate behaviour.But I would not have wasted precious time and energy repeatedly texting her.That is harassment on her part,but if anything like me she will be deranged by grief and hurt,and we all react differently.
I received an ' appology' of sorts from OWs,but it was a hollow one because she then blathered on about her loss,her pain, and her relief that her DCs and family hadn't found out about her behaviour.As if I cared I then turned my attentions fully on my marriage and trying to understand why this had happened,and help DH understand his vulnerabilities, and see if we could salvage our marriage.
We did,and we have,although I will never be quite the same.But thank you Francesca for making the point not all post affair couples are weary,tired grouchy,paranoid ,furious and depressed.Some of us are wiser, kinder, more compassionate and hopeful for the future.You say you have lost your husband and your marriage.But if you are truly remorseful,and with counselling and time there may be a way back.If not I wish you peace of mind for a different future.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 15:33:09

Thank you all for this tremendous advice.

I know my wording said MM was relentless, he was, but like you say, I did it all on my own and hold myself fully accountable.

I can't apologise to dh enough. It's too late though and I understand why.

Yes the marriage wasn't great but I wish I'd have worked through the issues, now i'll never get the chance.

With regards to MM, he disclosed to his wife as he claimed he wanted a relationship. On the day he was due to move out of his home he decided to stay. I did not tell dh because I wanted a relationship with MM. This happened after MM was out of the picture. I told him as I wanted to give us a fighting chance where he could make an informed decision about our future. He has, he wants me gone and it is so, so hard.

I'm no spring chicken - we've been married for 15 years. I can't believe I betrayed him after all that time. It makes a fresh start much more difficult at my age and I will likely never have a child.

The texts from his wife are easing up. I replied to the first one, a heartfelt apology but I won't be engaging with her anymore.

Thanks so much for your replies.

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Sat 05-Oct-13 15:37:52

I don't agree about writing a letter either.

It will prolong the OP's emotional entanglement in their marriage.

If the wife wants answers, revenge, whatever, she should be pursuing her husband.

The OP owes emotional reparations to her own H if that's what she chooses to do but that's all.

She made a mistake but she didn't do it all sand she wasn't married to this guy's wife.

OP, I think you're really brave for posting here and I hope that you will learn and heal and move on from this situation. Good luck and may your future hold peace.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 05-Oct-13 15:45:45

If the marriage wasn't great, painful though this is, you're probably better off. Sometimes it's too easy to just bobble along in a rut, mildly complaining but doing nothing about it. There are better ways to change things up than by creating a traumatic crisis but sometimes that's what everyone needs to kick them out of their torpor...

tessa6 Sat 05-Oct-13 15:51:09

I'm sorry, OP. It's very hard. You can't say for sure you'll never have a child, and there are lots of options in that direction. be kind to yourself. the next time around and there will be a next time you'll get to put into practice all you've learned.

Wellwobbly Sat 05-Oct-13 15:55:43

Bopeep, do you try to be that offensive on purpose, or are you just a naturally offensive person?

Now, you I think have trumpeted that you yourself have never actually experienced an affair, but you know an awful lot about them through 'your friends', and that makes you an expert.

Well, I have experienced first hand having an OW in my life fucking my husband and him preferring her. Hell, she slept overnights in my bed. I picked up her hair in my hoover. You could say, we are close. So I know and not through 'friends' the awful, awful blows on many levels that feels like.

And I, as a betrayed wife, would love to hear from the OW. 1. to hear some sort of acknowledgement of the damage done to me. 2. because apologies do help give back respect and work towards restitution. 3. to hear her side of the story, because he never stopped lying and having some more puzzles fit together would help my life at that time, you know the one turned upside down by deceit and psychological abuse, make more sense. 4. I already know OW and I are on opposite sides of the same coin. We were both lied to, and I know what he is like when he ardently persues. Having that confirmed would increase my sympathy towards her. 5. I personally admire honesty and courage. 6. I believe in redemption. But you have to repent in order to get redemption.

But then, I could be bonkers. I think fundamentally I am quite a decent human being and would appreciate some decency back from two people who treated me very badly.

Wellwobbly Sat 05-Oct-13 15:56:19

not forgetting my children.

Putitonthelist Sat 05-Oct-13 15:58:17

I agree with Cog

The MM changed his mind on he day he was due to move out. That must have crushed you. You had probably imagined/dreamt of a future together, that has now been shattered so no wonder you're low. It took courage to then admit the truth to your husband so he could decide on the path he wanted to take.

You had the affair for 3 years, that's longer than many marriages last - I would think it was more like a relationship than an affair. I find it hard to believe that anyone could love/care for their OH and have a 3 year affair. A fling or a ONS maybe but a 3 year affair. Maybe you are looking at your marriage/dh now through rose-tinted glasses because you feel so alone and you can see that the MM is attempting to rebuild his own marriage.

Have you had any contact with the MM since it ended?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 05-Oct-13 15:59:03

As the betrayed wife Wellwobbly, have you been hounding the OW with nasty texts?

Wellwobbly Sat 05-Oct-13 16:00:22

No, Cog that I haven't.

But it has taken every ounce of self restraint for 4 years, though!!! Boy have I wanted to do so.

(Rapidly getting to the Land of Meh, tho)

Wellwobbly Sat 05-Oct-13 16:02:02

The MM changed his mind on he day he was due to move out.

No, he wasn't!! He was never going to move out. He was telling her whatever BS she needed to hear to keep the Cake (having it and eating it) coming.

My H said he never had any intention of 'replacing you'. It was just a nice fantasy side piece. One of his more honest statements.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 05-Oct-13 16:03:51

There you go.... you wanted to but you didn't. You acted reasonably. The DW - although she has everyone's sympathy - is not acting in a reasonable manner. Sending letters would therefore be like pouring petrol on the fire.

redundantandbitter Sat 05-Oct-13 16:04:25

Been there .. Done that. My now XP (of 3 weeks) sat in the new flat waiting to sign the lease - and ducked out and went
Home. Cue more months of dragging on before his W kicked him out and good on her. He really messed her about. Be really careful fuckedupmylife that you know what you will do should he come back . Mine did it over and over and each time I was crushed and felt pathetic . 2 years on i thought we were happy , but he's ended it. so Thoroughly untrustworthy anyway. dont mourn MM. Focus on what you want, one day at a time. Cut all contact and block EXW. It's a big part of your life but a very hard lesson. I bet you have been all consumed - now it's time to
Look around you. I bet you have been missing a lot while investing in MM. Eat a bit of humble pie and apologise to friends. There is a world out there

Putitonthelist Sat 05-Oct-13 16:12:12

*The MM changed his mind on he day he was due to move out.

No, he wasn't!! He was never going to move out. He was telling her whatever BS she needed to hear to keep the Cake (having it and eating it) coming.*

Yes Wellwobbly I'm sure your right. But after a 3 year affair I guess (I don't know, I've never been there) you would expect it to be leading to a future together? Maybe I'm naive?? I find it incredible that anyone could maintain an affair for 3 years...........

Hissy Sat 05-Oct-13 16:17:35

OP. Brave woman.

Fwiw, if the DW were on here and talking about sending abusive messages to the OW, we'd all tell her not to lower herself, and to take the shit up with her dick of a husband.

Can you change your number? You have to draw a line and move on.

It's cost the DW some trust in her crappy H, it's cost her some tears, and lost sleep, but they're clinging on until the next time

It's cost you your marriage.

That said, perhaps in time, you'll see that what you lost had to go. Perhaps you'll learn from this.

Promise me one thing though? That you won't punish yourself for this, anymore than you've been punished already? Please demand more of men for yourself, don't settle.

Make all this pain worth it. We all of us make mistakes, if we learn and grow then there is a point to it all.

Be strong. Value yourself.

Missbopeep Sat 05-Oct-13 16:18:49

Put you might find this hard to believe too but as an 'older member of MN' I know of families ( parent's friends) where someone had an affair for over 25 years. I've known others that ran for many many years- longer than 3!

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 16:20:25

How long ago did all this happen?

Can I just say that I admire your honesty with your husband OP?

A lot of people in your shoes would have kept quiet after the MM changed his mind. To my mind you did the right thing and it showed a lot of courage and ethics.

If this is quite fresh, it's possible your husband will take all that into account once the initial shock has subsided. You could have duped him but you didn't.

It might seem a very small thing now (even a bit hollow), but take some pride in that. It shows you're someone with the capacity to learn from your mistakes and to take responsibility for them. The fact you apologised to the MM's wife shows that too.

Putitonthelist Sat 05-Oct-13 16:31:41

bopeep I know it does happen.

When my SIL lost her DF it turned out that his fortnighly golf trips were infact an OW. It must have been going on for over 20 years. He had a 2nd home with her! I just find it hard to believe that someone wouldn't suspect long before then. Maybe my SIL's Mum did know - I think some women do turn a blind eye to it.

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 16:33:24

Oh and Hissy if a poster said she was sending abusive messages to the OW, yes most people would deter her from that. Sadly not all, by a long chalk.

But we don't know the DW's messages were 'abusive' any more than we know she is 'bitter'. The OP hasn't said what those messages contained. Like I said, we can support the woman who's in pain before us on this thread without casting aspersions about another woman, who is probably also in pain. Maybe her texts were angry, but so what? Hopefully she's said far worse to her cheating husband! The OP is right to step away from that now though.

Likewise we don't know what the MM's future marriage will be like, or that there will be a 'next time'. Maybe he'll learn his lesson and fully commit to his marriage?

Too many projections going on here, I think.

dreamsdreamsgoaway Sat 05-Oct-13 16:37:24

I also feel very sorry for you and admire your honesty.

The wife should not be texting you like this. It's very unfair to you and it's not helping her. I think you should reply to the next one saying that if you hear from her again you will consider it harassment and call the police. She needs to back off for her own good.

Everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect. This does not define you as a person. We are all bad, really. Please stop beating yourself up and try to value yourself.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 05-Oct-13 16:38:14

I am sorry you are going through this, because even though it is your own doing you sound so down. Firstly, MM's wife has no right to keep contacting you, her dh is back with her now and made his choice. Tell her you will contact solicitors if she continues.
For your dh to hate you, he must love you very much as the two are the same emotion really. I think if you stand any chance of getting back with him it needs to be while he is angry/hateful of you. Before he becomes resigned to the fact and moves on. Can you not talk to him? Is it worth trying? If you still love him you must try before it is too late.
Good luck and best wishes.
Oh, and any friends who desserted you or judged weren't real friends to begin with, because they don't do that.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 16:45:07

Thanks again everyone. You are all really helping.

Yes it is very fresh at the moment, but dh's mind is all made up and I can't see him changing it once the dust has settled.

You are right, the affair and the double life have been all consuming and has taken it's toll on my mental health. Although I don't feel the constant nerves and anxiety, which is a welcome relief, there's just a huge void. Dh has moved out until we find somewhere and staying in the home we built together is heart-breaking. Like i'm sat in the ashes of a fire I started.

I'm ashamed to say MM called me on the phone crying once since deciding to save his marriage (not sad for me, sad for himself - he has never once acknowledged what I've lost, nor should he I suppose, since I got myself into this mess). At my lowest point last week I texted him to say I was really struggling, despite him asking me not to, but never heard back. I'm really ashamed that I did that sad As if I want his sympathy.

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 16:51:14

Can you say more about losing your friends? If you have- and feel you've got no-one to turn to during this double bereavement- it's not surprising you texted him, but if he told his wife (which he should) then she won't think your apology was sincere now. That's a shame, because it sounds like it was.

Maybe I ought to check that with you though? If the OM asked you to try again and said he'd left his wife, what would you do?

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 16:56:00

Also, maybe that's why the DW is texting you just now. You apologised and yet you texted her husband after that apology. He should have been the one to deal with it, but I could understand a DW getting angry about your perseverance.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 16:58:37

I am very ashamed to see my friends though they would not ever judge. My friends are close with dh and whilst they have been there for both of us, they don't recognise me for what i've done and since they are so close to dh it is very awkward. My two closest friends have just had babies and it makes me feel terrible inside to see them as they are settling down with a life i'd love but have pressed the self destruct button on. This probably all sounds very self indulgent.

FB - I wish I could answer that question with a big fat 'No, i'd tell OM to take a running jump' but at the moment that would be a lie as I miss him greatly. I realise through my counsellor though it's not HIM, I want/miss, it's the things he brought to my life that were lacking.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 17:00:06

FB - Her recent texts lead me to believe she has no knowledge of the text I sent.

Putitonthelist Sat 05-Oct-13 17:00:40

OP it's completely understandable that you have contacted him. He has been a big part of your life for 3 years, you can't just switch your feelings off.

But now is the time to delete and block. Believe me, it's the only way to heal. And if there's a chance of bumping into him you need to find a way that you don't.

He sounds completely self-absorbed. You can now look at him through new eyes, he could be who he wanted to be during the affair, it was fantasy - now see him for what he really is.

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 17:07:08

It's hard being a friend in the middle and it's especially hard when they've got new babies.

It's great you're having counselling though and he/she sounds like a good one.

What about other friends who aren't so tied up with your husband? Might be an opportunity to bring them closer if you confide?

I wouldn't be so sure the DW doesn't know you've texted, but really it doesn't matter. Just make sure you don't contact him again. Go to someone else for support with this struggle, which is an understandable one. You've lost two people. That's very hard and you need help.

redundantandbitter Sat 05-Oct-13 17:16:46

God this is SO familiar. Whenever I feel so down that I want to contact XP I post on here.. Anywhere.. (You may have noticed) . It's been the massive distraction I need to fill the hole left my lack of communication from him. It's got to be no contact. I actually drafted a text to his XW last week but looked at myself and said WTF am I doing. Keep posting, ignore EX and his wife. Leave them to sort out themselves. You need to concentrate on you. It must be hard in the house by yourself but least you are not caught in the middle of deceit and lies and stress. I never thought I would say this but once last week I actually felt relief , something that I find incredible. You will miss him, but I bet there's things you won't miss. It was probably very difficult. This is a new phase for you. Stay strong, v brave for posting.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sat 05-Oct-13 20:33:32

Lovey, you made a bad choice - it happens. But you have taken responsibility for your mistakes. You've apologised to MM's wife and also been honest with your H as well. I know it won't feel like it at the moment, but the hardest part is already behind you.

Change your phone number - you need to not contact MM anyway, but this will also stop the texts from his wife. I understand she'll be lashing out because she is devastated and hurt, but if you have already apologised to her then there is nothing to be gained by maintaining this contact. Donning a text equivalent of a hair shirt by allowing the texts to continue is not going to change anything; in the long run it won't help her or her marriage to keep you as the focus of blame.

Can you look at places to move to? Do you have to stay in the house until it sells? Try and keep your attention on moving forward and working towards a fresh start. You probably feel that you deserve to feel this way and to be brutally honest you should feel guilty and upset. You lied and deceived and hurt people who didn't deserve it. But you've paid a high price for it with the loss of your marriage and you know and willingly acknowledge that what happened was wrong and that you shared equal responsibility for it.

I know that right now there is probably a perverse desire to cling to the familiar - you feel alone so want the comfort but it's also a way of punishing yourself by keeping looking at your marital home, constantly replaying memories and torturing yourself with thoughts of what the future might have been. However you need to come to terms and deal with what happened, you need to try forgive yourself, accept the consequences of what happened, learn from it and move on with your life.

The final thing I would say is that you never know what the future holds - at the moment it probably feels like a cosmic fuck up as your life has imploded, but good things happen as well as bad. Stop punishing yourself with regrets about how this might mean that X will not happen or Y is very unlikely.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 05-Oct-13 22:59:27

Thanks everyone and PA for such a considered helpful post.

You are right about my desire to cling onto the familiar - i am having lots of punishing thoughts about how good I had it with dh. Tonight I am recognising more problems within the relationship and how utterly unhappy I was when I began my affair with MM (no excuse, I know and so wish I had addressed the problems so we had a chance at salvaging something).

I am also sad that MM went from pestering me for a relationship to complete cut off in the space of a day and can't understand how he could do that after the three intense years we shared. I feel like the painstaking time I recently spent not contacting him after his decision has been for nothing now I contacted him with a really heartfelt message and heard nothing back. So so stupid.

FrancescaBell Sat 05-Oct-13 23:32:03

He's cutting you off because having made the decision to end the relationship, no contact with you is the best thing for him and the best thing for his marriage. Just like having no contact with him is the best thing for you. You can't be eachother's support any more and although it must be so painful and seem so cruel to you, it's actually the kindest thing in the long run.

I guess one of the hardest things for you might be not knowing what were lies and what were truths. I've never been in this situation, so do tell me if I'm talking out of my arse! grin and maybe those thoughts aren't plaguing you.

But if they are, I've known a lot of people who are where you are and a lot of people in the OM's boat too. From my observation, ultimately people make the choices that suit them best personally. So if they think they truly love the OW/OM they leave and if they don't, they stay. Obviously there are other factors such as children, finances and potential alienation of friends and family in the mix, but as dispassionate as this sounds, the people I've known to stay in their relationships did so for two main reasons: they didn't want to risk their happiness on the OW/OM because doubts had started to form and/or they believed they could be happy or happier in the future with their usual partner, once the affair was over.

I was saying on another thread that while the affair was a secret, you were in something of a bubble. Sometimes what happens when the secret comes out is that for the first time, the people get to hear others' views about both the secret relationship and the people in it. That can be like a bucket of cold water thrown over the fantasy and I've known people to 'wake up' from it and for the first time, see the affair a bit more objectively.

This might be what's happened to him a bit, which is why it's maybe easier for him to detach and be quite cold about it. It's a good thing your counsellor is helping you to do the same; you're realising that it wasn't that this man was so wonderful, but the feelings he gave you were wonderful. The great news there is that those feelings aren't unique to this man and it's entirely possible you'll feel them again, with someone who is single and free to commit.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 06-Oct-13 07:58:19

He's cutting you off because it is an instant defence mechanism to try and save his marriage. He'll be in the zone of "look - no contact!". I wouldn't be surprised if he is painting it as your fault - "she pursued me, it was a mistake but I felt flattered" etc. Which is shitty and untrue but it would also explain why your getting the texts from his wife; if he's winding her up about how you enticed him away, then it is - understandably - preferable to paint you as the scarlet woman, rather than face up to the fact that her husband is equally to blame for what happened.

Anyway, enough about him and his life - it is a closed chapter for you now. If he was a part of your life for a significant time then it isn't going to be easy to not think about him, but that is what you need to try and do. As Francesca has said, you've come out of the bubble and boy it's a shock. This will pass. But, it will also take time - there isn't going to be a day where you wake up and magically feel better but you will learn to deal with what's happened and how you feel.

It doesn't sound as if your marriage was in great shape anyway. You said earlier on that you didn't tell your H about the affair as you wanted the relationship with MM. You only told your H after the MM had changed his mind - you say to "give your relationship a fighting chance". I'm not going to pull any punches here, but are you sure the reasoning was that altruistic? Is it likely that instead, you actually panicked - the thought of being alone, no MM, no H, no support from friends etc - and told him in a desperate attempt to be honest (which was the right thing to do) but to try and cling on to what you had? An affair is a symptom of something wrong - what was wrong that you looked elsewhere?

At the risk of sounding like a navel gazing woo-woo loon, you can learn from this. There is every chance that you will have a relationship in the future and that you will be happy with someone. Everyone deserves to be happy - you included.

Isetan Sun 06-Oct-13 09:12:27

Three years is a heck of a long time, you didn't lose your husband you lied to him, made him an unknowing fool and are upset that he had enough self respect not to be your consolation prize. Whatever your feeling now pales into significance to what you put your H through.

Be honest with yourself, are you really mourning the end of your marriage or are you feeling lonely now that the OM hasn't followed through and your back up (H) has gone?

Wallowing and self flagellation is limited in its usefulness. The past is the past, you did what you did, continue with counselling and try to understand why you behaved so badly and move on.

Missbopeep Sun 06-Oct-13 09:16:50

I do feel for you.
I was cut off once by a man after 4 years- we were engaged. One day he simply decided he wasn't 'ready' for marriage. I struggled with how he loved me one day and wanted no contact the next. It's a tough one and it took me re-location, new job, new men, to get over it . He came back to me years later saying he'd made a mistake but it was too late.

I think one thought you need to hold onto is that he is finding it 'easy' to break up in this way because he was never 'in it' fully anyway- he was also in a marriage.

No matter what you thought you had, he wasn't emotionally available. He was married. As were you. You might have invested more than he did.

It might be part of the deal he has struck with his wife, never to reply to you. You need to respect this and if you do love him, you'd want to wish him well and that might mean leaving him to sort out his life without the added complication of you in it.

It's not easy- it will take you a long time to get over this but you will.
I'd also not write off your DH and marriage- in time when he calms down there may well be a reconciliation- you need to be honest with him and say if that's what you want.

Missbopeep Sun 06-Oct-13 09:25:46

Isetan I think all you said was rather hurtful and also unnecessary- the OP knows all that- have you read the entire thread?

casacastille Sun 06-Oct-13 09:44:45

I have been your H. And I can tell you that three years of betrayal will have turned you into the lowest of the low in your H's eyes.

Your apologies may have been heartfelt, but we are hardly talking about a momentary lapse of judgement. You revealed yourself to him to be someone capable of a shocking level of deceit, someone with no integrity.

So it's hardly surprising he won't consider reconciliation. 3 years after finding out the truth about my H, things are civil but I still feel revulsion when I look at him (we have DC so there is regular contact) and I don't believe a word of his declarations of remorse and hope for reconciliation. I think he is just feeling shit because he has lost a lot, is living alone and hasn't yet found a replacement shag.

Could this be you?

fuckedmylifeup Sun 06-Oct-13 09:59:12

Thanks for the continued support. And thanks Missbopeep.

PA - you have a point and part of the reason I told dh was to selfishly unburden my guilt which was causing such daily mental strain. As crazy as it sounds, I am hurt that he could slam the door shut on 15 years of marriage without even wanting to discuss how we got here/wether we could ever move on from it. This probably sounds beyond selfish. Maybe I am in a panic. It's all really confusing.

Isetan and casa - i know what I have done to my dh and what I have put him through and am in counselling, partly because I can't deal with that and partly because I have lost myself somewhere along the line - I've lost my integrity - you are right, and so much more. I'm a shadow of my former self. (Me, me, me).

Lazyjaney Sun 06-Oct-13 10:08:40

OP I think you are being too hard on yourself. You are hardly the first, nor will you be the last person who has had an affair.

Firstly, the texts from the MW must stop, if you don't want to confront her, change your number.

Secondly, it's best to cease all contact with your MM.

Thirdly, reading between the lines, I also get the impression your marriage wasn't exactly a bed of roses, nor your DH a saint. There was probably a sound reason for your affair, you may be over estimating what you've lost.

Fourthy, friends who don't stick with you aren't friends, and there are always other people who can be friends.

Seems to me the only real loss you may have is the possibility of not having children, but realistically you probably didn't want to have them with DH or you already would have. Thing to do is to try and move on and make a new start as quickly as possible, to have the best chance of meeting someone else.

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Sun 06-Oct-13 10:09:00

You're allowed to focus on yourself, don't feel bad about worrying about you.

I'm impressed by your honesty and courage to come on here. Keep coming to MN for support, it will help you.

No man is worth hating yourself over. Keep strong, you'll get through this and be a better person for it.

Missbopeep Sun 06-Oct-13 10:21:42

I hope you will find some way of moving on. Your DH will be in shock- it's like a bereavement for him and his first reaction will be disbelief and anger. But there are 7 stages of grief- and he will move forward, which may include thinking about the good points of his marriage. He may in time want you back but meanwhile you have to be honest with yourself. If the marriage was dead in the water and if the OM was some escape route, then you need to face that and not look now at your DH with rose coloured specs.

We always want what we can't have and the grass is always greener.

At the moment your DH may look appealing because he is in your eyes more of an option than the OM. Why did you need someone outside your marriage? What did OM give you? I hope the counselling is digging into this because it's key to your future and not making the same mistake again.

Wellwobbly Sun 06-Oct-13 12:28:19

"part of the reason I told dh was to selfishly unburden my guilt which was causing such daily mental strain. As crazy as it sounds, I am hurt that he could slam the door shut on 15 years of marriage without even wanting to discuss how we got here/wether we could ever move on from it."

My IC and I have discussed this, and we are in the 'if you have stopped the affair, do not tell, carry your guilt for your shitty behaviour yourself for the rest of your life and work very, very hard on becoming a better human being' camp.

Why? Because an affair is pulling the pin out of a delayed hand grenade, and the discovery of how you were lied to and betrayed is a nuclear fission of pain. Although there is direct cause and effect, the INTENTION to hurt is NOTHING LIKE the reality of the destruction. It is one of those things in life where the cause and effect are hugely mismatched.

Nothing will or can ever hurt me more than discovering that the love of my life, my best friend, the person who had my back, who cared about me, my team mate and partner in life's difficulties, the person I trusted more than anyone else who knew the most about me and loved me anyway

- was none of those things.

It was annhialation. Once your innocence is gone, its gone.

Did he intend to annhialate me? No, he didn't. He just wanted a fantasy to make him feel good and keep him going so he could stay married to the old troll.

The result of the explosion that he didn't intend, will cost him everything. He was starting to see OW as the childish selfish person she is, he was starting to come home and seeing that it wasn't so bad ie, his perception was distorted so he says - but he is a f g liar anyway. He didn't do it quick enough and he got caught. Funny, now he has the chance of her 100% he doesn't want her. Not my problem.

What does Rona Subotnik call affairs? 'A maladaptive solution'... They are such a huge mistake.

OP, WHY did you do this? WHY for three years?

akaWisey Sun 06-Oct-13 13:51:00

fuckedup I have also been the DW of such a triangle. I think wellwobbly illustrates very well the experience of discovery and beyond so I won't add to that.

But at some point you have to forgive yourself and let it go. If I can just say why I think that.

A few weeks ago I happened to pass my ex h as I was on my way into a shop. We split not far off three years ago and this is the first time a chance encounter has happened. He now has to live part of the week here and part of the week with OW (who, I guess, is now his DP).

As we passed it was as if we were two strangers - not two people who were married for 20 years. The surprise, for me, was the look of utter misery on his face. He couldn't meet my gaze, he appeared ashamed and maybe a bit scared.

This was not a man who is as happy with his new life as I imagine he thought he would be. I don't think he's forgiven himself and he should. Not forgiving himself will not bring the best bits (or indeed any bits) of his past life back. It doesn't change how I feel about him, nor does it change my desire to remain in no contact. He doesn't need my forgiveness - he needs to say sorry to himself.

And so do you.

fuckedup your names sums things up well. You did. A smart person learns from their mistakes, a foolish one wallows in them.

Your DH doesn't want to re-live this every day so has chosen a life without you. That is his right, so accept it and be happy for him.

The OM is a sh*t at every level. He used you. Forget him, move on.

The wife is not herself, she's hurting. Change your number for your and her sake.

Now, hold your head up, tell yourself good people can do bad things and start again. Forgive yourself. You'll be ok.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 06-Oct-13 16:13:13

As crazy as it sounds, I am hurt that he could slam the door shut on 15 years of marriage without even wanting to discuss how we got here/whether we could ever move on from it.

No it doesn't sound selfish - it's entirely understandable. But you are so wrapped up in misery at the moment (and again that is understandable) that you aren't looking at the bigger picture). What you need to try and remember is the way you feel right now is exactly how your H has been feeling since you confessed to the affair. You had an illicit relationship for three years. That's three years of living together, birthdays, Christmases, wedding anniversaries. Infidelity makes the person who was cheated on, question everything that their unfaithful partner has said and done whilst the affair was going on.

So in your H's case, he'll be remembering every nice thing you did, every tender word you said, any time that you told him you loved him, any time you were physically intimate with each other. Those memories will be playing over and over in his head and he'll be feeling foolish and sick and hurt every time each memory hits him. Did you mean what you said when you loved me? How could you say 'I love you' when you were seeing someone else behind my back? How could you sit and discuss starting a family with me when you were shagging someone else? Did you think of him when we were in bed together?

I realise that the above is difficult to read. I am not saying it to try and hurt you further - I think you are punishing yourself enough. But in order to try and process this and stand a chance of moving on from it, you need to accept the fact that however much you are hurting now, your H is hurting worse. Infidelity destroys trust. You've lied to him for 3 years so - and I am sure you can understand why - he is unwilling to listen to anything you say now. I cannot describe just how awful that feeling is when you find out that someone who you thought was your life partner and soul mate has lied to you like that and not being able to trust a word they say any more. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

If you truly want to reconcile with your H, then I would write him an email. You need to explain that you understand that his trust in you is gone, but that you are truly sorry, seeing a counsellor etc. That you don't want to make the wound worse but that if he changes his mind and wants to talk to you then you would love to hear from him. You need to give him space to process this and to decide if he does want to see you again or not. However you need to be prepared for the fact that even if he does speak with you again and you manage to regain a civil footing with each other, your romantic relationship might never re-kindle. It's entirely his choice

fuckedmylifeup Sun 06-Oct-13 17:20:25

Thanks again for the support.

Wellwobbly, before all of this I posted a thread (different name) and was strongly advised to tell dh. The advice, alongside my suffering mental health was the catalyst. If ever want to get the old me back, which I doubt I ever could, I have to face up to things honestly. I'm sorry and ashamed I have hurt dh wish I could have kept it all in.

That is tough reading PA but you are right, of course and most of the time feel in a very very dark place because of the hurt I've caused someone who had in the past showed me so much love.

Wellwobbly Sun 06-Oct-13 18:05:03

I think I remember your post, I think I posted not to tell.

So, are you able to tell the story of your affair, OM, how it happened? Why did it continue so long? How did you plan and arrange it? What kept you in?

Charbon Sun 06-Oct-13 18:22:36

Late to this thread but just wanted to say that no reputable therapist would make a blanket judgement about the merits of honesty and disclosure, either for or against. The individual circumstances of each client and their own conclusions must govern each individual decision.

Neither do I think it's helpful when a poster has made a decision and is living with the consequences of it - both good and bad - to revisit that and question it after the event.

The most helpful thing is to access support for now and the future, dealing with the situation as it stands.

Like others OP, I think your husband is probably still in shock and the decisions he makes now might not be what he will want in the future. This is a good opportunity for you both to think about the relationship you want, either together or with others in the future.

This is a process, but just as he needs to take his time with it and not make any permanent decisions whilst in shock, so should you. Be patient with your own selves as well as eachother.

Missbopeep Sun 06-Oct-13 18:27:25

Great post Charbon I agree.

I can't see the virtue in provoking the OP to re-visit they whys and wherefores of the affair here. This will surely add to her clear distress. I'd feel it amounted to voyeurism. What's done is done. The process now is to discuss this with a counsellor and move forward.

piratecat Sun 06-Oct-13 18:29:49

I'm sorry op. I hope you regain yourself and your strength. Life is not simple at times and i am sorry you hurt. x

Wellwobbly Sun 06-Oct-13 18:40:20

Sorry if I said anything to hurt you OP.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 06-Oct-13 19:24:53

Thing is OP, if you and your husband had been okay this affair would never have happened would it? He obviously wasn't right, that is probably why you haven't had kids yet after so long together. You have probably done both of you a favour. Move on, forget the counselling, shit happens in life.

fuckedmylifeup Sun 06-Oct-13 20:13:34

You haven't hurt me Wellwobbly - I appreciate you posting on a thread like this. I can't revisit the details at the moment.

I know age, the marriage wasn't perfect but I wish I'd poured all my energies into fixing it instead of going down this destructive selfish path. I did feel dejected that we never had a child and maybe unknowingly acted in some kind of passive aggressive way. I can't see the wood for the trees at the moment, so so upset.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 06-Oct-13 20:31:43

We all make mistakes OP, many far, far worst than yours. Shit happens. 15 years and still no children tells its own story. Something cant have been right and maybe something like this was better than prolonging the inevitable split. As for the married man, you've dodged a bullet there, big style.

Charbon Sun 06-Oct-13 21:21:49

Magnamimous post Wobbly thanks

As for this:

Thing is OP, if you and your husband had been okay this affair would never have happened would it?

That's simply not possible to determine. No marriage is perfect, but even if it is unhappy, it's never the sole cause of an affair.

This is where hopefully, the counselling can add value.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 06-Oct-13 21:51:39

Not possible to determine charbon, of course. But the likelihood is that things were not right with OP and her husband. As for counselling adding value, well, that's also not possible to determine is it? Highly subjective call, that one.

KouignAmann Sun 06-Oct-13 23:13:56

Five years ago I went down the path you are treading OP. I had a brief affair that somehow dragged on for 18 months after MM ended it (but kept coming back for one last time...)

I was in pieces. I went for counselling and eventually told my DH because I was struggling to move past the enormity of why I behaved as I did. My H became very aggressive and despite a year of marriage counselling I left once he became abusive. In hindsight I was in denial about a difficult marriage that had made me resentful and bitter.

The MM went back and as far as I know has repaired his marriage and demonised me completely. His DW doesn't know AFAIK.

As for me, I carried on with counselling for 2 years, I grieved, I blamed myself and was angry, sad apologetic and eventually accepting. And now I have a lovely DP who I love dearly and would never ever treat with such disrespect. I have been given another chance of happiness.

Take time to be sad and grieve. But be open to happiness in future. It will come when you are ready, and you will appreciate it all the more when it does.

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 00:01:51

The OP has said her marriage had some problems- that doesn't seem to be in doubt. Saying that she wouldn't have had an affair though if there hadn't been problems, is a projective leap.

As happens often on threads like these, other posters tend to give excuses even when the OP herself isn't offering them, or insisting that her behaviour was justified and reasonable. Probably one of the main reasons posters have been helpful to the OP on this thread is precisely because she's not seeking to justify her behaviour with the usual excuses.

I also think it's very odd advice to suggest she ditches counselling that appears to be helping her at this difficult time, when real life support is in short supply confused.

Driz Mon 07-Oct-13 05:56:11

You need to work on your self esteem. A man cannot provide that for you, and tbh it is pretty clear why neither your mm or your DH no longer want anything to do with you.

fuckedmylifeup Mon 07-Oct-13 07:14:01

Way to kick someone whose already down, Driz. I'm trying to work on my esteem issues through counselling. For what it's worth I am a career orientated person, which is in part why I have no children, and until MM have never relied on a man to bring me happiness.

harverina Mon 07-Oct-13 07:50:36

Hi op,
I didn't know whether to post or not as I rarely post on relationship threads - I don't often have much advice to give as the advice given is usually excellent. But you sound so sad and down that I wanted to acknowledge your post.

You know why you are now in this situation and don't need other people to point it out to you. What you do need is to be kind to yourself. You had made a mistake but as others have said, you are only human. With the benefit of hindsight you may have done things differently but you didn't and now it is about putting your life back together. Whether this will be with your dh or not is not relevant at the moment, you cannot continue to live in the state that you are in or you will make yourself even more unwell. You need to take care of yourself too and if your dh does come to you to talk or reconcile, you will hopefully be in a better place to deal with this. You can apologise, you can be regretful but you cannot punish yourself forever.

Speak to friends, don't isolate yourself any more.

Putitonthelist Mon 07-Oct-13 07:53:15

Driz you are talking nonsense! The OPs DH was with her for 15 years. He left because of a 3 year affair. It's early days, he may well decide to give the marriage another go.

OP please ignore comments like that. I find it interesting that you haven't actually indicated that you loved the MM, did you or was it just infatuation/lust? Something missing in your marriage?

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Mon 07-Oct-13 08:06:47

OP I've been following your thread because I'm struggling to deal with the fact that my sister is having an affair.

I have been attacked on my thread for being "relaxed about adultery" because I'm keeping quiet and not telling my BIL. It seems some people come on these threads just to attack people - I guess they're hurting themselves and try and vent it on you.

I just wanted to add my support. Haverina's post says it all really - be kind to yourself.

People have affairs, you're not the first or the last. What you've done isn't the end of the world, you and your DH will recover from this and you will find happiness in the future.

Wellwobbly Mon 07-Oct-13 09:29:36

Such a brave, grown up thing to say, OP:

'I wish I'd poured all my energies into fixing it instead of going down this destructive selfish path. I did feel dejected that we never had a child and maybe unknowingly acted in some kind of passive aggressive way.'

Here is a big unMN hug ]] for such courage and honesty. Well done girl, you keep going in that direction for a better life ahead.


MangoTiramisu Mon 07-Oct-13 10:12:55

Thing is OP, if you and your husband had been okay this affair would never have happened would it?

You see, I don't agree with that comment. Someone once said to me that you spend your whole youth wanting to meet someone and get married and then after you are married you spend your whole time trying to stay married. A bit old fashioned, but perhaps true. Everything between me and my DH has NOT been OK, but I have not had an affair. During our 15 years of marriage we have had family issues, multiple miscarriages, 7 years of infertility, a 2nd baby who nearly died, living in 3 different countries and me spending lots of time alone, on my own for weeks on end, 7,000 miles from my family. This took it's tole on our marriage and there were a few times that we came very close to splitting up. At no stage of this did I look outside my marriage.

If you could look at a graph of a marriage you would see huge peeks and troughs of happiness. In any marriage there are things which are not perfect whether it is due to their faults or caused by outside factors. There will be times when your marriage is not great, it's always a work in progress.

I am not having a go at you OP, I just think that if a marriage is so bad then leave it and let your DP leave with their dignity. Blaming the marriage for the affair is adding insult to injury.

redundantandbitter Mon 07-Oct-13 15:14:24

fuckedup how are you doing today?

Missbopeep Mon 07-Oct-13 16:53:35

But Mango, your single experience doesn't prove that yours is the only way surely?
One of my closest friend's DH had an affair- they had been married for over 20 years but there had been no intimacy for a very long time- years and years. That marriage wasn't 'good' and it was no surprise to anyone that he strayed.
Most affairs exist either to plug a gap in the marriage, or as an ego boost, or through sheer boredom, or as an exist strategy.
Some people who are unhappy will seek another person for solace = affair. Some won't. There's not just one 'rule' about this.

Missbopeep Mon 07-Oct-13 16:54:20

*exit- though the typo might be valid too!

Wellwobbly Mon 07-Oct-13 17:13:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 17:27:56

Such a shame that one throwaway comment from another poster has hijacked the thread of someone who never even suggested that her affair was caused by her marriage.

I'm sure we've all come across different types of affairs, but as I see it, the OP doesn't want to discuss why she had one, she wants some help dealing with her life now that it and her marriage have ended.

ageofgrandillusion Mon 07-Oct-13 18:04:31

My comment about why the OP had the affair was intended to help the OP beating herself up about it. There is a sense from her posts that she is looking back on her marriage with rose tinted glasses to an extent, hence reason she is sounding disappointed that her husband wont reconsider things. My point was that things cant have been that great in her marriage otherwise she probably wouldn't have had the affair. Hence she needs to move forwards rather than looking back.
Let me add here that i am not saying all affairs come on the back of a problematic marriage but that problems at home are very often a catalyst.

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 19:47:09

Yes but we know the marriage had some problems. The OP had already said that. But it's a bit like saying to someone 'You wouldn't have shoplifted if you'd been rich' or 'You wouldn't have defrauded your firm if they'd treated you well as an employee'.

As Mango points out, some marriages have terrible difficulties to overcome and more still have the normal ups and downs. So just as someone who wants more money or more recognition will do all sorts of things to resolve matters short of their own dishonesty, it's the same in a relationship isn't it? An affair is quite a extreme act and it's likely to have far more root causes than just an unhappy marriage, otherwise everyone would have an affair when their relationship hit a bit of trouble- and patently they do not, even when they get the opportunity to.

I do agree that the OP needs to be objective about her husband's qualities and their relationship so that she isn't seeing him as some sort of injured saint though. But I think that's where the counselling will probably help a lot, especially as it's a rarity atm finding a thread which describes what sounds like a good counsellor!

Thanks for coming back to explain though age.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Mon 07-Oct-13 19:59:13

How are you doing today OP?

You have been very brave - it takes a big person to admit they are wrong and to take responsibility. You are doing the right thing and you should take some comfort from that.

fuckedmylifeup Mon 07-Oct-13 20:16:19

Thanks for all your messages of support and thought-provoking advice. I am still low and in some sort of denial, sleeping little and waking up realising I've cried. Dh has been over to get clothes and has reiterated that there is no going back and wants to start his life over without me - he is now saying he was unhappy long before I checked out of the marriage during the affair and feels he has played a part in the breakdown of our relationship. He has been beyond reasonable.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Mon 07-Oct-13 20:42:19

OK that was very generous of him. Which you should hold close - as if he was intent on blaming you then he wouldn't have said it. The fact that he has is a testament to his character and also to the fact that you are a nice person who has made a mistake.

Try and eat - you won't feel like it, but you need to.

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 21:05:14

Does that seem authentic OP? What he's saying?

It sounds like that was a surprise to you?

I wonder whether he needs to believe that version of events, in order to make sense of this?

In a 'I could have controlled this if I'd chosen to' sort of way?

MangoTiramisu Tue 08-Oct-13 00:48:35

I'm sorry to say but it seems that your husband has thought about it and come to the conclusion that he is OK with the split. Because of that, he feels no animosity toward you and perhaps feels that he can move on without any of the guilt. He may even think you have done him a favour. I think that there is no need for you to feel guilty about him anymore, he seems OK. I think you need to channel all your energy on feeling better yourself.

I think that out of all of this you are the one who seems to have come out worse, sorry to say. I think you need to take time to heel and then start afresh without either of them. Contacting MM again is only prolonging the agony.

On another note, was your MM a father? This may have played a major part in him staying with his DW. When it came to the crunch, he may have had too much to lose.

MangoTiramisu Tue 08-Oct-13 00:49:35


redundantandbitter Tue 08-Oct-13 21:21:46

fuckedupmylife how was your day today? Did you manage to eat some bits and sleep?

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Wed 09-Oct-13 19:08:01

OP (I really don't want to refer you as 'Fuckedup'!) - how are you today?

Why don't you start yourself a new thread, where you can get yourself some support? The title of this one I think has served its purpose and I don't think there is anything to be gained by you constantly being reminded of the 'OW' issue. Besides, it might be good for you to change your posting name - onwards and upwards.

If you do start a new thread, then link to it here so that people know where to find you smile

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Fri 11-Oct-13 16:23:57

I second that - I keep coming back to this thread to see how OP is. I think you were very brave and frank OP, and you can gain a lot of support on here.

Keep strong - don't let this mistake define you, you can still have a happy future

Hope you're ok flowers

TheGrandPooBah Fri 11-Oct-13 20:47:45

And when you start the new thread, change your name to something like 'MovingOnwards' or 'PuttingThePastBehindMe' - make the first step to becoming a new, happier you and put the mistake behind you.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 12-Oct-13 18:09:55

Thanks so much to everyone who has posted on the thread and continues to show an interest in how I am. Thanks also for the PM's and all the ongoing advice - your help has got me out of a really dark place and I am beyond thankful - THANK YOU flowers.

This week has been so hard. Dh has moved out temporarily and we have continued to talk but he has 100% no interest or desire is giving the marriage another go. I can already see a new lease of life in him and he doesn't appear to want to look back for a second and says he has been unhappy for years. We are both leaving our marital home as it is simply too sad and are currently looking for places to live. I'm still crying daily and nightly but am able to busy myself at times.

MM has called me (I didn't answer) and sent me a message saying how hard it is and that he cares for me so much (I haven't replied). Yes Mango, he has dcs. Not sure what his game is really. Or how I should feel/respond.

I perhaps will start a more positive thread when i'm feeling a little more deserving. Thanks again everyone.

holidaysarenice Sat 12-Oct-13 18:18:23

A letter to the ow telling her to back off is the only letter I would be sending. Preferably from a solicitor. Telling her the next step is formal harrassment.

holidaysarenice Sat 12-Oct-13 18:22:17

Sorry I didn't see that you had posted. Well done on surviving a very hard week.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sat 12-Oct-13 18:24:50

Start a new thread and change your name to something nicer - pleeeeease! smile

I would strongly recommend that you change your mobile number so that MM can't contact you. Every time he does it just prolongs the agony. He's made his choice - let him get on with it. You need to focus on you

Putitonthelist Sat 12-Oct-13 18:28:13

Have been thinking about you OP.

I fully expected MM to contact you. He is trying to ease his guilt. Don't engage with him. I know how hard it is but he has made his choice. He knows you and your H have separated, that would be his opportunity to be with you but he has chosen his wife.


tessa6 Sat 12-Oct-13 18:29:17

Well done for not replying. I am so so impressed with you.

DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Sun 13-Oct-13 09:42:29

Well done OP.

Sorry that your relationship with DH seems over, but if you separate this from the MM issue, hopefully you will see that if your DH admitted that he has been unhappy for years, then the marriage would probably have ended one way or another sooner or later. What you did was a symptom of this, you accelerated what would probably have happened anyway. People in happy marriages don't have affairs.

I suggest you focus on looking after yourself in the wake of DH leaving. Forget MM he was just a bit-player in your life and his part is over. He is just feeling sorry for himself and still wants to mess you around - ignore him to deal with his own issues. If you consider your recovery as your priority, then you'll see that contacting him is detrimental to your goal, like picking at a scab that is trying to heal.

Take some time for yourself - do you have any friends to support you? Keep yourself busy, and each day will pass. You will feel better.


DoYouEverFeelLikeAPlasticBag Sun 13-Oct-13 09:46:25

and as for I perhaps will start a more positive thread when i'm feeling a little more deserving. Thanks again everyone.

Everyone deserves to be happy, and you deserve support. You know what you did is wrong and you are sorry. Everyone makes mistakes, it is learning from them that makes us better people.

Here's brew and cake to get you started x

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 13-Oct-13 10:50:03

Darling, you won't feel "deserving" for a while. But this is when you need it most - you're too wrapped up in guilt and self-loathing to be able to see that you do deserve support and friendship.

It's entirely up to you - but MN is here if you need it smile

rubberbandgirlme Tue 15-Oct-13 00:00:50

I discovered telephone records that showed thousands of texts he'd been sending to the OW over a period of 18 months - it was the first thing I knew that far from 'feeling like he'd won the lottery with me', 'had never been so happy in his life' 'I was the best thing that ever happened to him' 'there could be no other woman for him, but me' he was actually texting this OW even as he told me those lies! It started just one month after we returned from honeymoon! She worked at his office and came to the wedding! I didn't know her, but she wouldn't even look me in the eye - and for ffs you couldn't miss who I was - I was wearing the big FO dress! So despite him swearing on his daughters grave I still don't believe something wasn't going on even before the wedding. Absolutely agree, the problem here was with H - he was the one who had an obligation to me and his promises - but she knew he was a married man - she came to the wedding! For 2 years exH swore they were nothing but 'friends' and nothing had gone on! Huh! I couldn't believe him - if she was such a close friend how come I'd never heard of her? His constant changing stories just didn't add up either - only after he'd 'left me' (came back many times afterwards) for not trusting him and 'looking sad' did he finally confess they'd had sex - so for 2 years I was gaslighted and punished for being so unkind to him!?! My head was wrecked (still is tbh). I contacted OW with 1 phone call on the night I found telephone records (called her a f-ing whore - undignified I know, but hey! why should I have been the only one behaving to script - and being the, above all, quiet suffering victim) and then I sent her two texts (after he finally fessed up to it being more than a 'few flirty texts') asking her to please tell me the truth. There were only two people in that whole sordid episode who knew what had happened and the one who should have been telling me what had been going on had been lying to my face forever! He drip fed what he would decide the story was this week / day / hour / minute and I was constantly being 'ambushed' by new revelations! He admitted he pursued her and he told me he did it to 'teach her a lesson'!!!!! I was given no room to recover from having the ground pulled out from under my life and I NEEDED to know what the bloody truth was! For the poster who said a while back that the OP should threaten this wife with prosecution for harrassment! - what legal address can the wife take against the two people who knowingly set out to ruin her life??? A few angry texts, if that's actually what they were - and not a plea for the truth - is NOTHING compared. I know this OP has suffered now, and I am sorry for her, she is at least remorseful about her part in this clusterfuck (and believe me, I totally appreciate how relentless my exh can be when he has set his sights on someone/something he wants - and it sounds like the OP met someone very, very like my exh) - but I really feel I need to stick up for this poor wife who is 'harrassing' the OW - my personal experience is this is a bloody nightmare no one would ever, ever want to go through and if she was married to a man like my exH he'll never have told her the truth, fessed up, or been truly remorseful for the pain he had caused her. I never lost sight of the fact that my exH was the biggest s**t, with at least 75% of the responsibility - but the OW is also responsible for allowing herself to behave the way she did. I'm 50 and, in my single years, had lots of 'love affairs' but I'm proud to say I never, ever had anything to do with a married man - that was my moral choice - and even if not as noble as that, how can you ignore the truth of 'marry a man who cheated on his wife and you've married a man who'll cheat on his wife!'

Sorry that was such a rant - apologies - just connecting to my long-suppressed anger there! :-D OP - I agree with everyone who advises you that we all make mistakes (of course that's true), and it is terrific (really) that you have shown remorse for the impact on your H and the MM's wife - it shows you have a soul and probably got caught up with something you might have thought was 'harmless' and 'controllable' at the beginning. You don't sound like someone who thought they'd just do what they wanted to do and 'who gives a f**k who gets hurt while you get it' - but you must (and not just for the sake of the MM's W) NEVER contact the MM again (and make sure you're not 'open' to any contact he might make. Would you really like to hear he'd been telling his wife that 'he never liked you anyway', 'thought you thought too much of yourself' and 'wanted to teach you a lesson'? Because this is what I heard about the OW from my exH - another 'truth' he swore on his daughter's grave about.

Sorry - rant mode again!!!!

Love and peace to all (now where are my tranquillisers????) :-D

tawse57 Tue 15-Oct-13 11:43:03

I believe that life is a series of lessons and that we all come here to learn life lessons. You are learning many now.

I don't have much more to offer than the other excellent advice that others have given... but I do wish to say this.

You have made a big mistake but, hey, you aren't the first human to do this and you sure as heck won't be the last.

We all make mistakes and do things wrong that we regret - it is part of being a human being. If you did not make mistakes you would be some kind of saint or supreme being. You ain't - you're human and you sometimes get things wrong.

But what you can change is how you live your life going forward. It won't be easy but you can move forward and live a better, happier life.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 19-Oct-13 12:41:09

Quick update - I have found somewhere to live and am currently going through the awful stages of packing away my life and watching dh disappear from it. Still not sleeping much at all. I am feeling less burdened and the guilt is easing somewhat.

One issue at the moment is that after his dramatic 'farewell' message, MM is still contacting me. He is still working on his marriage but says he is worried about me and wants to know how I am/what i'm doing. I know I should tell him where to go but while I am mourning dh it feels weirdly comforting and I'm ashamed to say that I have been responding. What a mess.

Missbopeep Sat 19-Oct-13 12:45:48

Change your phone number or block his calls. He doesn't want you. It's an ego trip for him to try to comfort you when you are down. If he wanted you he'd leave his marriage. FGS fess up a bit and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

fuckedmylifeup Sat 19-Oct-13 13:06:47

Sorry Missbo. I know you are right. These things take time - I was with dh for 15 years. I'm trying.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sat 19-Oct-13 13:19:50

You MUST change your number. if he is working on his marriage then why is he contacting you? think about it. this man is a liar; he will have made promises to his wife about trust and honesty - less than a month later he is back to his old tricks. I bet his wife doesn't know he's been speaking to you. it's not fair to her - he's a shit but you need to leave them to it and hopefully one day she'll realise that he isn't worth the effort.

take one moment and think about how your H would feel if he knew? I know he has already made his decision but this completely contradicts everything that you have said to him about being sorry and wishing you could turn back the clock. you can't say that you would love to have your relationship with your h back but in the absence of that, keep in touch with mm anyway - it makes it sound like empty words.

I know it's hard right now but the only reason you are responding to mm is because you are vulnerable and lonely. in the longterm maintaining contact won't help you.

Putitonthelist Sat 19-Oct-13 13:22:24

OP you are doing really well. I understand how difficult it is to cut contact but you are prolonging the agony - don't let him do this to you. He is doing it out of guilt and for his own ego.

Right now if he told you he was leaving his wife I know you would welcome him with open arms. In time when your head is clearer and you can reflect on what kind of man he actually is you will not want him anymore. He is still showing complete disrespect to his wife. This is the woman he committed to, who he wants to stay with, yet he is still showing her such disrespect. Sorry OP but you could never trust this man, he is not where your future happiness lies. Please delete and block. ((Hugs)) to you.

Missbopeep Sat 19-Oct-13 13:39:42

But you aren't posting about how you miss your DH are you, even though you had 15 yrs with him.? You are posting about how you miss OM.
OM is there - in your head- to fill a gap. he's playing with your mind. If he really cared he'd back off and not torture you. He's contacting you with some misplaced sense of guilt at how you are now facing life alone when he's all cosy with his wife. You need to tell him to stop. It's not helping you to have this contact. You are prolonging the pain no matter how good it may feel to have contact at the moment when you are lonely.

Putitonthelist Sat 19-Oct-13 13:51:22

Totally agree Miss

You need to take control OP. You cannot control what the MM does but you can take control by blocking him from your life. You know I've been there. I'm now 3 months no contact after faffing about for months. The constant contact set me back time and time again I woke up, smelt the coffee and said NO MORE!! I feel strong, empowered and even walked past him the other day and felt nothing!

I promise you will get through this but continuing contact is opening a healing wound again, please don't do it.

fuckedmylifeup Sun 20-Oct-13 14:44:18

Thanks for these lightbulb moment messages. I won't be responding to any future contact - I know he is messing with my head and that he had made his choice and that is wasn't me. I have long since deleted his number/blocked him but this is from a different number.

Please don't think I am not missing my dh, I'm crying noon till night at what I've lost through my sheer stupidity and the gravity of having to start all over again. You are right MM is just filling a gap in my head.

I'm sorry that I sound so sorry for myself, I know - i'm sick of myself! I'm desperately trying to get the strength to move forward - it is just so hard and the future looks bleak from where I stand. The strong inner me who would be telling me to pull myself together isn't there any more when I reach for the strength. I am honestly really trying.

Putitonthelist Sun 20-Oct-13 15:03:50

OP, I have been where you are. I got the point of being totally fed-up of being so down, I would apologise to my friends for STILL going on about him months later, it was all consuming. One day I woke up and I wasn't as consumed about it anymore. Dwelling on it is time wasted but it can't be helped, you will reply things over and over in your head, it's part of the healing process.

It's taken me 8 months to get where I am. I realised that all the time I spent loving him/hating him/thinking about him was taking up the precious time I should be spendig with my DC, my elderly parents, my friends - I would not give him the satisfaction of living rent-free in my head anymore. He was gone, he may as well have been dead. I don't know where you live OP but if you want to pm me maybe we could meet up?

Putitonthelist Sun 20-Oct-13 15:04:19


PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 20-Oct-13 16:08:53

FUML - what you are feeling is entirely normal love. It will get better - but the fact your are so hurt and low right now is what makes you vulnerable. MM doesn't actually care about you, he just wants to stroke his ego and make it all about him again. I really think you should change your number - then he cannot contact you.

Everything else that you are doing is a positive step forward - it's baby steps darling, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now