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Getting over an EA - sorry for long post.

(119 Posts)
KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 16:16:21

Hi, I'm new on here and have read a few other threads on this subject but am really struggling to move forward from my dh's EA.

Back in April I found emails between him and a woman who works for him arranging a lunchtime 'date'. At the time he swore it was just a drink, that he had felt uncomfortable with it and only stayed for one drink. However, I then found out that they'd been chatting online a lot. I'd been suspicious as he'd started playing a word game online and seemed obsessed with it - now I know why!

We decided to move forward and I thought things were going OK. However, in June I then found out, by looking at his texts, that he'd met up with her again (they still work together) and that during a boys day out at the races he'd spent most of the day texting her. When I asked him to restore his iphone messages (as he'd deleted all but the last one) he refused and admitted that they'd talked about taking things further i.e having sex but, again, swore that nothing had happened.

We went to one session of Relate but he didn't want to go back as he felt that it didn't do anything and that we were already doing everything suggested i.e date nights, checking in with regular texts etc and giving access to his emails and texts.

Again, I tried to move on and thought things were looking up. In August we went on holiday with our best friends and their children (we also have two). On the first day there I picked up his phone, totally innocently and saw an email he'd sent to her that morning from a Hotmail account I didn't know existed. It said that he'd had a great time on their 'day out' which turns out was the day before we flew on holiday. He said that she was beautiful and that he'd tried to kiss her but she'd rejected him!

I'm not proud of this but I ended up emailing her and telling her that unless she left the company I would tell her bf as I couldn't see any other way forward. After one text she threated me with a solicitors letter (via email and turns out it's a friend of hers) with a court injunction if I contacted her or her bf! She then went on to tell me that MY actions had left her so stressed she had to take time off sick and was on antidepressants.

I was devastated and obviously it totally ruined our holiday (and that of our friends). Since then, I've found out that they went out 5 or so times and that they did kiss (twice) at a work event where they were both drunk but he insists nothing else happened and that he regrets it and wants to be with me and to move on.

She also reported this to my dh's boss and insinuated he'd been sexually harassing her, apparently also on the advice of her solicitor friend!! When the boss suggested they retrieve all emails between them to establish the facts etc she retracted the letter and said she would look for another job.

Basically, I don't know if I'm coming or going. It's been about 8-9 weeks since I found out but I still cry a lot and feel sick whenever I think about it. I just can't trust him and question everything. She still works there and on his first day back in the office she tried to contact him via their office IM and asked how he was etc. He didn't respond and told her verbally he didn't want any communication with her expect for work emails but it's certainly not ideal as he sees her every day, she reports to him and I see constant emails from her (albeit work related).

He won't go to counselling and although he is making an effort I just don't know if it's enough. I know it wasn't sexual (or at least I'm pretty sure it wasn't) but to me it feels as though he kept choosing her over me (and our family) even though he knew how much it would hurt me.

How do I move forward? Will I ever trust him again? Any suggestions??

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 16:28:06

You move forward by getting angry with the right person.... him. He married you, not her. He promised love and fidelity, not her. He's the one that's been lying, sneaking around and hiding all this stuff knowing it would hurt you. He's the one that's been changing his story, promising it's all over. Going after the other woman was not smart.

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 16:32:11

Yes, I agree - I know that it wasn't my finest move but I wasn't thinking rationally at the time. I am angry with him, unbelievably angry and think that's what's stopping me from moving forward.

I think there's also a bit of plain old jealousy in there too because, clichéd as it sounds, she's 25 (to my 40), long blonde hair, great figure, no kids etc etc.

JustBecauseICan Mon 07-Oct-13 16:33:44

How do you know she contacted him against his will and he told her verbally not to do it again? How do you know he wasn't "sexually harassing" her?

You don't, is the short answer. But you are hurt and are looking to make out he couldn't help himself and was virtually coerced by this harridan of a woman.

Deep down of course you know that's bollocks right?

I'd not be trusting a word that came out of his lying scumbag mouth myself.

You need to deal with him and you need to leave her alone.

I'm not surprised she threatened you with legal action. You were blackmailing her for fuck's sake. You are lucky she took it no further.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 16:35:28

It's not your anger stopping you moving forward, it's the inaction. Nothing has materially changed...

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 16:37:47

I know and totally agree it wasn't the right thing to do.

I know because I've seen emails and texts from her which show that she was totally willing - she often started the texts/emails and she's tried to contact him since we came back from holiday.

I'm not blaming her - you're right that it's him who should be faithful to me. She doesn't owe me anything etc etc but it's just so hard when they still work together every day.

Why won't he go to counselling?.

Forget this OW, what about him?. Has he taken full responsibility for his actions. He has not.

He won't go to counselling I daresay because he will then have to take full responsibility for his actions.

No trust - no relationship to my mind. Do you at heart think you and this man have any sort of future at all now?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 16:41:30

That's what I mean about inaction. He's in the same office, he won't go to counselling, he says they don't talk any more hmm, all very convenient. Seems to be same old, same old as far as he's concerned - no real consequences - whereas your life has been holed below the water-line, and you're hamstrung thinking you should 'get over it'.

Ilovebreakfast Mon 07-Oct-13 16:42:58

I understand your anger. Don't stress re the ow. Let get go and focus on the state if your marriage. Your dh has behaved very badly. Do you want to be with someone who lies and continues to lies even when caught. Cares more about getting it on with a 25 year old than respecting and caring for his wife and all those shared experiences.
You deserve better.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 16:43:09

He just wants you to shut up about it.

He's not sorry he did it.

He'll probably do it again.

He won't do counselling because he can't be bothered and isn't prepared to do the work it would take to rebuild your marriage.

When he talks about wanting to "move on" he means that he wants YOU to move on and let him go back to the way things were before.

You're right - he kept choosing her over you and your kids because he fundamentally thought he had a right to this dalliance and to lie to you and he still does.

He's only sorry he was caught.

Ilovebreakfast Mon 07-Oct-13 16:44:05

What is your dh doing to fix this? He should be on his knees doing everything he can to repair his marriage and build your trust. He isn't doing much at all.

JustBecauseICan Mon 07-Oct-13 16:44:25

You've seen the emails and messages from her to him.....have you seen the ones going in the other direction? Is he as willing to show you those? Where he's telling her to back off, and not contact him....Oh, no, they were only verbal weren't they. How convenient.

Get angry OP. Get bloody angry.

Then get him out.

(I wouldn't be believing for a nanosecond there was no sex either)

Wellwobbly Mon 07-Oct-13 16:47:08

'The Unified Theory of Cake' -

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 16:47:21

He says he doesn't think counselling will fix anything. To be fair to him (not sure why I should be but..) when I told him the other day that I was considering going on my own anyway he said he would come. I'm just waiting for an appointment but he hasn't said any more about it and I'm not convinced he'll go/engage with it if I force him to go.

He can't leave his job as he's pretty senior there and we have money tied up in the business. Even though her bf gave her an ultimatum that she had to leave it hasn't happened and I don't know if she will so feels like we're stuck in a vicious circle.

Problem is, he says all the right things but he said it all before when he was carrying on with it so, for me, it comes down to a trust thing. Does anyone have experience of getting that back with time?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 16:49:00

Do you blame yourself on some level for this? Feel responsible for his behaviour?

noddyholder Mon 07-Oct-13 16:50:33

He is getting it all his own way here. I think you should go to counselling without him. The outcome may surprise you (and him hopefully) He sounds an arse and very selfish.

JustBecauseICan Mon 07-Oct-13 16:50:37

Has he said sorry? Is he contrite? Has he said it won't happen again? Has he said it was wrong? Has he said why it went on after it was supposed to have stopped?

He is right. Counselling won't fix anything because he doesn't want to.

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 16:51:01

No that's one thing I won't do! Our relationship had got a bit jaded - nothing major just caught up with kids, work, renovating a home - and we'd realised that and were 'making an effort'. That was back at the start of the new year.

Seems his 'making an effort' involved flirting with a 25 year old...

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 16:53:06

JustbecauseIcan - sorry cross posted. He does say he's sorry and that he can't believe he's done this to us and regrets it etc. he says it happened purely because we were not having a great time and that he was just totally flattered by her attention etc.

He's also said that because it wasn't sexual he kept trying to convince himself it wasn't an affair and therefore wasn't as bad and that he buried his head in the sand.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 17:04:04

But it WAS sexual - they were talking about having sex and snogging at work functions.

He KNEW it was out of order, and he KNEW it was upsetting you, and he KNEW he was telling you barefaced lies repeatedly and he kept doing all those things because he wanted to.

Because he fancied her and he wanted to shag her and he wasn't prepared to have you stop him from having his fun.

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 17:12:25

JoinYourPlayfellows - I agree with everything you said. Just hard to face the truth when the outcome of that would have such massive consequences.

At the moment I think I want to try and move forward and see if we can make this work but just don't know if I will ever trust him again or forgive him for this. I suppose I wanted to hear that someone else out there had been in a similar situation and had managed to move on and how they'd done that. After all, people do 'get over' much worse than this??

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 17:16:57

Plenty of people have recovered from affairs, both emotional and physical, but not normally with a spouse as obviously unrepentant as your husband.

It's not really YOU that has to move on here.

You were not party to this betrayal, to this fun time he has been granting himself at your expense.

You were a passive victim of his lies and selfishness.

And he intends for you to suffer more for his affair by placing the entire burden of dealing with this onto you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 17:19:10

Plenty do and you'll find quite a few threads. But the reason they carry on after an affair is that the cheating partner is totally open and honest, takes full responsibility for their actions, engages completely in therapies and counselling and is proactive in all kinds of other ways. Even then the other partner has had to be extremely understanding and even several years on, is never so trusting again. Lying, a quick 'sorry' and followed by 'let's move on' ... not a hope in hell.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 17:25:49

Is it the money holding you back? Senior in the business, a lot of money tied up and you've renovated a house.... Lifestyle would suffer if you split. It's a reasonable hurdle.

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 17:30:19

I know I sound really superficial but it is definitely a consideration - not because of the house etc but because it would mean taking our children out of their independent schools which they absolutely adore and are doing brilliantly at. It makes me so angry that because of his decisions that's a possible outcome.

However, first and foremost it's because, as pathetic as it makes me sound, I still love him. Our children would be devastated if we split and the repercussions on our families etc would also be devastating.

If only life was as simple as kicking him out and moving on!!

noddyholder Mon 07-Oct-13 17:32:51

Money is not a good enough reason as I have never seen it work and have seen a fair few break ups amongst friends in teh last 5 years.

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 17:37:46

noddyholder - I know what you're saying but I believe that you have to take everything into consideration when making a decision of that magnitude.

It's definitely not the over-riding reason because, believe me, after all of this, if I didn't still love him I wouldn't be here but it's one small part of this - not for me as I could happily live anywhere but the impact of our children would be massive.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 17:39:34

Well right now your options seem to be

1 put up and shut up, don't kick up such a big fuss the next time

2 force the issue by asking him to give you some space and making it clear that if he doesn't start doing some major work on himself and your marriage that you will divorce him

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 07-Oct-13 17:43:53

'LTB' is not the advice. But if the 'B' knows you'd never 'L' no matter how badly he behaves, you put yourself in a very weak position and it will continue to be exploited.

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 17:44:39

Not much of a choice huh? I get that I'm being pathetic at this but it's my decision to stay and see how things pan out and I get that I have to live with the consequences of that etc etc.

I suppose I was just looking for confirmation (or not) of what others have done in similar situations and if they ever rebuilt the trust (assuming it didn't happen again) or if at some point you have to accept that life/your relationship is just different going forward.

noddyholder Mon 07-Oct-13 17:47:35

You are not pathetic at all BUT he needs to be the active one not you. I think you should ask him to go even temporarily.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 17:48:39

No, YOU are not being pathetic.

But he is.

He is the one who had an affair and he is refusing to do anything at all to fix it.

So, no there is no chance you will ever rebuild trust because you'd be a fool to trust a man who cheats on you and then insists you "move on" while refusing to go to counselling.

People recover from affairs when their partners are truly repentant and prepared to make whatever amends are necessary.

If you want to fix your marriage for the long term, you need to fight for it not just sit around letting him call the shots.

People who move out can move in again.

People who stop respecting you generally just treat you worse and worse until you are either completely broken and accepting of their shitty treatment, or you leave to preserve your self-respect.

Cosydressinggown Mon 07-Oct-13 17:49:26

Firstly, you need total transparency. That means recovering all his texts and e-mails (if poss) and reading them. I strongly suspect you'll find out there was sex. There usually is.

Next, with ALL the information, you need to work out if you want a future with this man.

If you do, he needs to be willing to do whatever it takes to fix it - including come to counselling, regardless of whether he thinks it'll work or not. He doesn't get a say.

Unless all three of these steps occur, you can never move on.

noddyholder Mon 07-Oct-13 17:50:35

It is never the same but some people can get through it and build an alternative. I couldn't but I didn't have children so was easier to go. I lost respect for myself though as I knew I was covering for him and trying to keep things the same

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 17:50:48

noddyholder - he's actually away on business from tomorrow until Friday so think it's an opportunity to have some time apart and see how we feel.

I have missed out that when we got back from our disastrous holiday he did book us a 5 day break in Portugal, just the two of us which is the first time ever and it was great. So he is doing things to try and show he's sorry.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 17:57:25

Buying himself a holiday and bringing you along in NOT doing things to show he is sorry.

If he was sorry he'd do whatever you asked to put things right.

His refusal to go to counselling is his way of continuing to set the agenda and force you into accepting his behaviour.

Stick up for yourself.

If that means the end of your marriage, it was never a marriage worth having.

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 18:02:21

The trouble with this is, half of what you write in your posts as 'fact' is coming from a proven liar. Unless you've spoken to your husband's boss, the OW's boyfriend and unless you've seen all their communications and have been a fly on the wall at all their assignations, you don't know anything.

So it's just as possible that this affair is still ongoing, it's long since become sexual, there was no allegation of sexual harassment and because of all the fuss, they've found other ways to communicate, which is why all you see now are anodyne 'business' e mails.

I wouldn't let him invade your space at counselling, but please tell us it's not Relate is it?

Go on your own.

I really think you need some time and space of your own to reflect on how many lies you've been told, to separate what is belief from absolute facts- and to work through the barriers you've got to separating.

It's so true that he knows you won't leave, so there's no real incentive to tell the truth and start the process of finding out why he did this and why he's a habitual liar.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Oct-13 18:09:57

A relationship can only get past something like this if the cheater takes total responsibility for their reactions, is totally transparent from the beginning and does everything they can to put it right

he is failing on all 3 counts so I think you looking for someone to tell you it's all going to be alright is a non starter

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 18:16:07

JoinYourPlayfellows- I don't think he was buying himself a holiday. He didn't have to do anything at all but he did and we had a good time. I know that makes me sound as if I'm making excuses for him, believe me I'm not, I was just trying to say that he has been taking action in different ways.

FrancescaBell - we did go to Relate but to be honest neither of us found it great. However, we'd only been once so I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I should find an independent counsellor and see them on my own first to get a few things straight in my own head.

You're also right in that I haven't seen everything text/email wise but I have seen the text he sent her to say I knew everything and that he wanted it all to stop and wouldn't be communicating anymore. He also came home the next night and told me that she had again tried to contact him in the office to ask if he'd meant it. He said that he'd told her he did and I suppose I can choose to believe him or not!

I did overhear the conversation with his boss when it all came out on our holiday as he put him on loud speaker. I certainly heard his boss confirm what she had alleged and that when he suggested looking at emails for confirmation of this that she immediately retracted her letter and said that she didn't want to do that. He also said in that conversation that she had told him her bf had given her an ultimatum and that she would be leaving as a result of that.

MissScatterbrain Mon 07-Oct-13 18:38:26

Taking real action involves taking a long hard look at himself to understand AND address personality traits and issues that justified having an affair and betraying you and his DC.

Have you read Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends? Its an excellent book describing work place affairs and how to recover from these.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 18:41:26

"He didn't have to do anything at all"


And does he know it.

What a massive sacrifice he made going on an expensive, child-free holiday with his wife. hmm

It must have been hell.

Aren't you insulted that he basically thinks he can buy you off with a holiday while refusing to do simple things like show you his communications with his girlfriend or attend counselling?

KtemaL Mon 07-Oct-13 18:53:02

MissScatterBrain- not read that one. We did get the one recommended by Relate but not that good so will buy this one and have a read. thanks.

Joinyourplayfellows - I hadn't looked at it as buying me off. I thought he was trying to make some time for us and show me he was sorry and wanted to try and make things work. You could well be right though, I can't second guess him on that.

Having read everyone's posts I think i need to ask him to restore all the deleted texts (no idea how the iOS upgrade might affect that but suppose his reaction will say enough) so I know as much of the truth as possible. I'm also going to book an independent counsellor for myself, perhaps he can come along at a later date if he chooses to, and assuming I want him too!

AnyFucker Mon 07-Oct-13 18:53:12

Rewarding him/letting him reward himself with a child free sunshine holiday was not really a sign that he "gets it"

I wonder how you will feel if you find out that he was still in contact with OP while you were on that holiday, and in actual fact still is

it's pretty likely, OP, going off what you have said so far, I am sorry to say

there will be another phone/email address/whatsapp account that will have the real truth in it somewhere

FrancescaBell Mon 07-Oct-13 19:25:12

Good idea to restore the messages. Is he open with his phone now and would he be okay if you picked it up and browsed through it at any time?

Are you sure there isn't another device he uses e.g. Kindle, tablet or other phone?

What's his boss's attitude to all this trouble brought to his door? It sort of sounds as though he's mostly irritable with the woman involved and that there's been no penalty for your husband (a senior manager) messing about with a junior colleague in work time. Isn't he pissed off that he might lose an employee because one of his most trusted managers couldn't keep relationships businesslike and professional? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying she's blameless, but I can't see why she has to be the one suffering all the consequences.

Mind you, her partner has insisted on at least one boundary that you haven't, related to them still working together. If this affair is over, she's possibly got more respect for him than your husband has for you, because he insisted she did something very tangible and which would incur personal loss.

Your husband got to go to Portugal.

What are the consequences for him really?

Sweetheart, I can imagine some of these posts look like we're having a go at you, when you've done nothing wrong. I've noticed that sometimes has the opposite intended effect and an OP will start getting defensive. It really isn't intended to hurt you any more than you already have been and the intention is to be a bit more objective and detached about a situation than you possibly can, because you love this man.

We don't. So it's much easier to see through the lies.

AnneOfGreenGarbles Mon 07-Oct-13 20:09:33

What a terrible situation OP. I really feel for you.

My question though is: why will this time be any different? Your dh has had various opportunities to put things right this year and has chosen not to. For example, in April and June and August YOU thought you were both working through things. Your dh on the other hand was pursuing things with the ow in an increasingly more secretive manner.

He needs to be demonstrating some serious commitment to making this work. It doesn't sound like he is.

Fairenuff Mon 07-Oct-13 20:32:20

You can't 'move forward' until he makes a full disclosure.

How can you be honest with each other when he still keeps secrets?

clam Mon 07-Oct-13 21:04:23

So, this holiday in Portugal. Lots of make-up sex? hmm

Confusedandfeelingalone Tue 08-Oct-13 08:18:07

Not sure I can give you a success story but if its any comfort I am going through the same thing and we are trying to make it work. My DH took a while to be completely honest and we still have lots to work on. He didn't and doesn't always do the right things to make things better but as long as I think he is trying and he is NC with the OW I will persevere for the sake of the many happy years we have had. Only you know what your relationship is really worth to you both.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 10:14:18

Hi, thanks for all your posts. Even when it's hard to hear, the truth does help and you're all right that you have an entirely different, independant view which is what I think I need.

To answer some of the questions; yes, he is being totally open with his phone, emails etc but then he already was because he'd found another way of communicating with her that he wasn't being open about! He insists that he hasn't spoken to her since the first day back at work when she tried to contact him and that he won't/doesn't want to.

His boss, by all accounts, is disappointed but feels that unless there's a formal complaint made it's not something he could/should get involved with. I get the impression that he's pissed off with her, she's actually quite senior herself but does report to my dh, not because of what happened but how she reacted i.e instead of being honest that it was a mutual thing, she tried to shift all blame onto my dh and claim sexual harassment. As soon as he suggested pulling off emais and IM contacts between them which are tracked she immediately retracted her letter which I can only assume he sees as a sign that what she alleged wasn't true. She also tried to get a pay out from him as she felt that it was work related and therefore she should be paid to leave.

She hasn't left because she can't afford to (same as my dh) although she did indicate she would be looking for another job?

My dh and I talked long and hard last night and he again insisted that he's not still seeing her and that he understands how much he's hurt me and wants to make things work. He has already admitted that he had 'feelings' for her, not love but more than friendship and the bottom line was that he felt flattered by her attention and it was an ego-boost. He said that on reflection he feels totally embarrassed as he feels like a sad old man being flattered by a 25year old and can't believe he risked everything for that.

Problem is, I'm not sure if that lightbulb moment has come too late for us and I said as much to him. It's only stopped because I found out and this time when I did I blew the lid on it instead of trying to make things OK. Otherwise I can only assume it would still be going on.

He's gone away on business today until the weekend and I've said that he needs to take the time to think about what he's done and what he actually wants. I also intend to do the same. He cried and said he doesn't want to go away as he loves me totally and wants to make it work 100%.

We'll see....

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 10:22:20

Confusedandfeelingalone - sorry meant to respond to you. Thank you for your post. I'm sorry to hear you're going through this too. It's truly hideous isn't it?

Your post exactly hit the nail on the head as I feel the same. We have so much tied up in our relationship - we've been together for 21 years and I don't want o look back in years to come and regret not doing everything I could to work this out. I just need to try and decide if he feels the same as so far I'm not sure he has shown this!

I hope you continue to work things out with your dh and he proves himself worthy of you.

FrancescaBell Tue 08-Oct-13 15:40:26

It sounds like there's a bit of a culture at the firm that affairs at work are an occupational hazard and it's no big deal unless the shit hits the fan. I once worked somewhere like that and affairs were rife. So as long as your husband is working there, he's absorbing that culture.

What happened abut retrieving all the messages? Is he going to do that?

swannylovesu Tue 08-Oct-13 15:48:20

OP, cognito speak sense. i am 9months down the line and my dh is fully repentant. He would have walked over hot coals if i asked him too.

He fucked needs to be fixed on your terms (should you choose this route)

Good luck.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 15:49:09

FrancescaBell - Hi, I genuinely don't think that's the culture but I could be wrong. I think the ow just mistakenly thought she could gain some money out of the situation by alleging sexual harassment and a subsequent payoff. I suppose I can understand that but the decision to leave is hers/her bf and she's certainly not being forced out in any way.

We talked about retrieving any messages that we could and, to be honest, he wasn't keen initially. For obvious reasons I'm sure! He told me again what they'd consisted of and said that the messages certainly talked about the fact that he wanted to sleep with her but he maintains he always said he would never do that whilst married (not sure why that's an issue yet everything else was ok). It was late last night when we talked as we had to wait until the children were in bed and then I had to go to work first thing and he left to go abroad so we didn't really get a chance to do this but he did offer to do it when we talked again this morning.

His reason for doing this was that he did want to be open about everything and he also felt it was another way of demonstrating that he's been honest about not texting her at all since holiday. Deep down, think I'm hesitating because I'm afraid of what I might find but feel a bit stronger today and am currently planning on insisting we do this at the weekend when he returns. That's assuming I haven't come to any other major decision in the meantime!

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 15:50:06

FrancescaBell - Hi, I genuinely don't think that's the culture but I could be wrong. I think the ow just mistakenly thought she could gain some money out of the situation by alleging sexual harassment and a subsequent payoff. I suppose I can understand that but the decision to leave is hers/her bf and she's certainly not being forced out in any way.

We talked about retrieving any messages that we could and, to be honest, he wasn't keen initially. For obvious reasons I'm sure! He told me again what they'd consisted of and said that the messages certainly talked about the fact that he wanted to sleep with her but he maintains he always said he would never do that whilst married (not sure why that's an issue yet everything else was ok). It was late last night when we talked as we had to wait until the children were in bed and then I had to go to work first thing and he left to go abroad so we didn't really get a chance to do this but he did offer to do it when we talked again this morning.

His reason for doing this was that he did want to be open about everything and he also felt it was another way of demonstrating that he's been honest about not texting her at all since holiday. Deep down, think I'm hesitating because I'm afraid of what I might find but feel a bit stronger today and am currently planning on insisting we do this at the weekend when he returns. That's assuming I haven't come to any other major decision in the meantime!

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 15:53:26

Oops, posted twice confused

swannylovesu - thanks, think that's my plan now. I could definitely sense a change in him this morning because I think he's finally realised that I might actually walk. A few days apart should help too so we'll see what awaits come the weekend when he's back!

swannylovesu Tue 08-Oct-13 15:58:43

good lass.

i lost count of the times i told dh to fuck off and keep fucking off grin but now, things are good. i still have my moments but he knows they are his doing.

He came clean, i didnt catch him. at the beginning he was a bit like yours, used every reason to justify his actions. Then about 6wks after he left he said he had a "what the fuck am i doing" moment and finally started being honest.

Give yourself space, process it all in your head and find your inner strength..its in there somewhere.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 16:09:19

Thank you so much for your post - it definitely helps to hear that others are working through something similar and making progress.

I'm really hoping we're at that stage as he certainly said things along those lines last night i.e WTF? can't believe I risked everything etc etc. He was genuinely upset this morning when I left for work and has been texting me throughout the day to apologise, telling me he 100% wants to work this out and can't imagine his life without me and said he can't believe he's been such a dick.

Even said he'll go to counselling...we'll see.

FrancescaBell Tue 08-Oct-13 16:13:59

I hope you insist on seeing them and that what you see matches up with his bill so you can be sure that there haven't been any deletions.

BTW, I'm not saying that your husband's a born philanderer or that affairs like this are rare. I've seen more 'can't cope with the big 4 Oh' men lose their heads when another woman gives them an ego boost than I've had hot dinners...but it's the compulsive lying that takes this into new territory isn't it? I think it also shows how strong his attachment or addiction was, because if it had been 'nothing' then as soon as you found out, he would have out a stop to it.

That's probably why I'm so suspicious that there was/is more to this than you know.

FrancescaBell Tue 08-Oct-13 16:16:43

Like I said, go to counselling on your own. Relate are meant to be rubbish with this sort of thing- there have been loads of threads about that this week alone.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 16:21:10

FrancescaBell - thanks. I think that's what I'm hesitant about. I so want to believe that there wasn't more to it than he's told me and that it's all over but just not sure and because he's lied so much about it all, I'm not sure we can ever get that trust back.

That's what I'm trying to work through at the moment and think that solo counselling might be a good start. I've seen some other comments about Relate and am planning to go with a local independent counsellor and see how it goes.

onefewernow Tue 08-Oct-13 16:29:59

I think you should not see it as a positive thing that he is saying he is willing to come with you to Relate, when he had initially refused.

I think he doesn't want to go. I think he doesn't want you to go alone, either. But if you are going, he will join you to ensure that you don't get too carried away without him...

Smacks of controlling to me. Also suggests that he knows there is plenty to talk about, doesn't want to, but doesn't want you to have those discussions unless he is in the room. Not good.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 16:42:58

onefewernow - I do understand your point and am planning to go on my own initially but I think he does need to come along too as we need to work this through together and he needs to hear some home truths and how we try to fix them.

As much as I don't want to, I'm trying to be rational about this and think whatever he does now regarding counselling would be viewed as wrong. If he continues to refuse that's him not wanting to fix this and show any remorse and now he's said he does want to come that's wrong too!

I'm going on my own first though as think I need to get my head around whether I actually want to work this out.

FrancescaBell Tue 08-Oct-13 16:56:48

Yes I think that's the right approach, but I think a couple of things might happen first if you stick to your guns about seeing those messages.

You might get a new confession when he comes back. Possibly something like 'okay I had sex with her once' to pave the way for what you might read or to stop you in your tracks and forget about seeing the messages/decide they are going to be too painful to read.

Or there will be a confession that he 'lied to her' about his feelings for her, the state of his marriage, his feelings for you.

He won't show you those messages until he's got an explanation in first for what you might read.

But read them you must. What you see cannot lie, whereas memory and people can.

I don't think couples counselling is ever appropriate until the whole story is out there.

And I really don't think that it is.

So the order I'd follow is this: get all the info first, then go to counselling on your own.

Keep in reserve the possibility of him joining you if your counselling convinces you you could forgive, in time.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 17:02:29

Thanks FrancescaBell - that makes good sense. On reflection he definitely does not want me to see the texts so there is clearly something more that he's hiding. At the moment he's saying that he doesn't want me to see them because in them he talks to her about wanting to have sex with her and I imagine that, if that's all they say, then they may be fairly explicit?

However, I do know there's every chance that they say more than that and that's why I know need to insist on seeing them. I think I will do it on Friday evening when he comes home and am planning to have already downloaded/installed the software to enable me to do that so it's all ready to go.

Loopytiles Tue 08-Oct-13 17:39:01

You are minimising the sexual harassment thing. The work relationship may have been mutual, but there was power imbalance. He behaved unprofessionally at best, exposed the firm to legal and financial risk, and risked being fired and all that would mean for your family.

Agree with others that the holiday he booked was mainly for his own benefit. Likewise "date nights", "re-connecting" and all that bollocks. Bet you felt under pressure for everything to go well and "move on" - he was rewarded with your attention, effort, sex and so on.

He seems to have got off very lightly. A short spell living elsewhere while you consider your options might wake him up a bit (and should still leave enough cash to pay those school fees!)

Solo counselling with someone good could be a good idea. If he wants to do joint counselling (from a different counsellor) in addition, fair enough. Would be controlling of him to try to stop you going alone.

clam Tue 08-Oct-13 19:28:27

Yes, I bet he's squirming about the possibility of you reading his ridiculous texts. I mean, let's face it, they're not going to just say, "dear x, I want to have sex with you," are they? They're going to be a bit more explicit than that.
Once you have read them, you won't be able to erase them from your mind. Be aware of that. I'm not saying you should let hem get away with this but do you really want to read them, in all their gory detail?

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 19:34:42

Hi clam. That's exactly what I'm struggling with - when we went to Relate back in June/July she asked me the same question and, at the time, I said no.

Now I'm just not sure. I keep asking myself what I'd do if I found out he's slept with her and I think the answer to that is I'd leave. I know it's pathetic of me to think that perhaps I'd rather not know as then I don't have to deal with it.

However, I know that it would affect our relationship as I'll always wonder. Not sure that's any basis for a relationship or a starting pint to rebuild any trust.

Problem is now he may well have already retrieved them and permanently deleted them so either way I don't think I'll ever know.

I've made an appointment o see an independent counsellor tomorrow so will see how that goes first.

Funnily enough he texted me just now as his flight landed and said he'd been thinking about things all day and he knows I'm right to want to see the texts and he's OK to do that and he's also happy to come to counselling at any time if I want him to. Hmmm...

clam Tue 08-Oct-13 20:04:55

How come the cynic in me suspects that those texts will miraculously have disappeared and be unobtainable?

Xales Tue 08-Oct-13 20:08:29

Seeing the texts is fine. What about all the IM and emails on the account you didn't even know existed? Are you going to see them too?

This man went out of his way to set up a secret email account to contact this woman. Don't forget that level of dishonesty because he is now being totally honest and open with you (to save his life style as he knows it).

Don't be surprised to see how 'bad' your marriage was and how much you didn't understand him or how little attention you paid to him in these texts either.

Most people don't just go my marriage is awesome, my wife is amazing but hell let's shag any way.

They pave the way by showing how bad their current relationship is and how the other person is better.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 20:19:33

clam - I think that would most probably be the case. Also, he's updated to IOS7 recently and I have a feeling that may well affect whether any texts are still retrievable (I'm not techy enough to know for sure?) Or maybe that would be his excuse for them not being there. He's already said that there aren't many as they didn't text very often due to it being a work phone.

Xales - I've seen some some emails but by no means all of them. The IM system is an office one so I couldn't see those even if I wanted to. Their IM is tracked so, again, I don't think they communicated much via that. I get the impression that they communicated briefly on IM/email/text but generally met up under the guise of 'business' meetings and trips to the London office which turned out to be trips to bars instead.

He's already told me that he did discuss our relationship with her as she was also going through a bad patch in hers and he echoed that we were too (although I thought we were working on that and things were looking up!). Sounds like it was a mutual swapping of BS if you ask me to try and justify that there was a reason for what they were doing.

LessMissAbs Tue 08-Oct-13 20:47:29

* He said that she was beautiful and that he'd tried to kiss her but she'd rejected him!*

This is the only evidence you have. All the rest is hearsay. Obviously your DH is not going to tell you he chased after her, persuaded her to spend time with him (probably pulling the "friends" line) and then got rejected gently enough for him to still try again if he thinks he can get away with it.

Do you actually believe she fancies him? Because if she does, it certainly sounds as if she could have had him. I don't know why so many women blame other women when it is obviously their husbands/partners chasing after them. She is quite possibly being polite to him because they work in the same place.

Do you know how many attached men pretend they are single/available when theres a pretty woman around, and how creepy they can be? My friend has had this (the jealous wife) in a similar situation and she is happily married, was persuaded to go to dinner after work with this man and chats to him, as do many at their workplace, on Facebook. Or at least until his wife flipped, went on his Facebook and defriended her. She doesn't fancy him, she finds him physically unattractive, and is totally put off by the fact he has a wife.

LessMissAbs Tue 08-Oct-13 20:56:53

In other words, I think it is entirely possible that she is being sexually harassed. At least as possible that your DH is involved in some sort of relationship with her. She doesn't sound all that willing, from what you have described, even though you are trying to paint her as the guilty party. Do you know how common sexual harassment is in the workplace, and how women who aren't interested in attached men quite often react at first by trying to be polite and friendly to diffuse it?

tbh if I had a husband behaving like that, I'd just leave him.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 21:03:13

LessMissAbs - I understand where you're coming from. I'm trying to be rational and not blame her. My dh is the one who broke our marriage vows, cheated and lied to me - she owes me nothing and I know that.

It doesn't make it any easier though and there will always be a part of me that hates her for her part in making me so miserable. I think that's human nature.

Anyway, I'm trying not to focus on her and concentrate on working out if our marriage can survive this, if I even want it too and, if so, how we move forward and try to rebuild the trust etc that he's shattered.

On a final note though, if I was in her position and genuinely had been harassed by my boss I would not have retracted the written letter as soon as it was suggested that emails etc were looked at because surely I would know that they backed up my story? I also wouldn't be, even to this day, sending him fairly friendly emails, work ones granted but I certainly wouldn't be shortening his name and signing myself off in the same way as she doesn't do that on emails that she sends to other people at work. Just feels a bit familiar/friendly for someone who doesn't like her boss and how he's been behaving??

Dahlen Tue 08-Oct-13 21:12:24

Nothing makes a cheater sit up and rediscover respect for their spouse like being kicked out of the marital home. Even if you want to work on your relationship and stay married, I would advise you to do this. You tell him that you both need space to reflect on what went wrong and what you both want for the future. Right now, he's stuck in the mindset of thinking all he has to do is wait out your display of emotions because your behaviour will eventually return to normal even if your feelings don't.

Dahlen Tue 08-Oct-13 21:14:43

I'd also stop concentrating on the actions of the OW. Even if she was absolutely intent on snaring your DH, the fact remains that she would not have been able to if he had not been willing. It's also a fact that if they are colleagues it is wildly unprofessional, and if he's in a senior position to her also an abuse of position, regardless of how willing she may have seemed.

LessMissAbs Tue 08-Oct-13 21:14:55

No, really - I've seen it happen first hand, its happened to me, or at least it would have done, were I not very good at spotting the signs of attached men (in that I include ones who live with a girlfriend but keep them secret or relatively out of the picture). You would not believe how many men lead women to believe they are single/available. The not wanting to shag her because he was married comment is so common - its to make them come across as some decent guy.

The bottom line is you should be furious because he is looking around for attention outwith the marriage, and unless he is truly sorry (which from the sound of it he is anything but) he will do it again.

I really find these men very, very irritating. There are so many of them about. I think you are deluding yourself if you think there are a lot of women who are attractive, have nice boyfriends and are in well paid jobs who are interested in relationships with older, married men. Most of us just see them as old goats who might need to be humoured at work because it might cause trouble for us otherwise.

Perhaps she thought there was something initially encouraging in the emails that would incriminate her? That would be my guess. Perhaps she was initially swept along, then came to her senses and began to reject him, before anything physical happened.

It must be incredibly difficult for her to work there, I'm not surprised she wants to leave. We really live in an antiquated culture with regards to attitudes towards women in the workplace. If they sack her, she will quite rightly sue them for sex discrimination, but no-one wants to get involved in that as it can affect your career and reputation.

She sounds very defensive in her actions, not at all predatory. I think you are not seeing the wood for the trees because you are so upset at finding out what kind of man your DH is.

One way of dealing with sexual harassment is to make men in the workplace your friends. That is what my friend has done - she is friendly to everyone, replies to texts, FB pms, very friendly. But she simply would never go anywhere near a man looking to cheat on a live in girlfriend. Unfortunately the girlfriend can't see this and spends her life defending her man against predatory women - except its her boyfriend who is the predator (he's tried on with me as well, and with at least one other woman that we know about and probably many more).

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 21:23:20

No-one is sacking anyone here. It's been made very clear that unless she wants to make a formal complaint this is viewed as a private matter. She was asked if anything had happened during work time and she said no (clearly because she would also have implicated herself) and she was asked if she wanted to make this formal and she backtracked immediately. And I know this because my dh's boss was on loudspeaker when he told him this.

Trust me, I'm not blaming her but she is not entirely innocent in this. I have seen email/text conversations that were very clearly started by her, not my dh. That doesn't excuse him I'm just saying that she doesn't appear to be as much of a victim as she tried to make out.

I have to say that whilst I don't have any issues with men and women being friends I'm not sure I'd advise making someone my friend, accepting FB messages etc from them if they're known sleazebags. I think I'd steer well clear of them and that way you're not leaving yourself open to them misinterpreting your actions! But that's just me

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 21:38:33

"Problem is now he may well have already retrieved them and permanently deleted them so either way I don't think I'll ever know."

You'll know for sure if he does that that he shagged her.

KtemaL Tue 08-Oct-13 21:44:10

I'm not sure how I'd know though? Isn't that a bit like the old witch hunts i.e if they drown they're innocent?!? If they're are only a few there is it just possible that there weren't very many texts sent like he said or that updating his phone to iOS which syncs it means old texts are no longer retrievable?

I'm not making excuses but I feel like I have enough issues to deal with without potentially making more up that might or might not be true?

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 21:48:32

Yeah, but the big difference between a woman suspected of being a witch and your husband is that YOU KNOW your husband is a witch cheat.

You KNOW he wanted to shag her and you KNOW he told her that.

If you don't get to read anything that surprises you in any way, you're being lied to.

Yet again.

onefewernow Tue 08-Oct-13 23:14:53

You are in a tricky spot, even with the technology issues. My H used all kinds of crappy technology related excuses to hide. They do. They can tie you up in knots. Mine did .

Here's my tip- lie in the bath or in the bed. Shut your eyes. What does your heart or gut tell you? Believe that. It's the best and most reliable information you have available , WHETHER it's fully reliable or not.

FrancescaBell Wed 09-Oct-13 00:54:43

You said upthread that you had seen the content of some of this woman's e mails and texts to your husband and they showed that she was 'totally willing'.

Can you say more? What was she saying in these communications to make you think that?

KtemaL Wed 09-Oct-13 06:46:26

He said again last night that he wants me to see the texts so that everything is out in the open so perhaps I need to do that and see what's there.

One fewer now- I did exactly that this morning. Woke up & my first thought was how much I miss him and it hit me that I can't walk away from this. My next thought was I don't know if that decision is mine alone, not because I'm letting him call the shots but because he had an affair, so doesn't that mean he doesn't love me or want to be with me? How can you do that to someone you profess to love so much?? I'm so confused sad

Francescabell - the emails I referred to said things like "I had such fun" etc, nothing massively incriminating but just overall they didn't indicate someone who wasn't enjoying what they were doing. The very first email I saw was one she sent to him back in March was to forward on a third party email cancelling their meeting in London, she followed this up with a comment that it was "perfect, as that meant they could meet up even earlier". Call it intuition (or desperation) but I can just tell that they're not the emails of someone who didn't want to be doing this. Familiar, too friendly, alot of them started by her not just responding to him, signing off with what is essentially a nickname, addressing him by an abbreviation of his name etc

KtemaL Wed 09-Oct-13 06:49:44

Onefewernow- I should have added that if I close my eyes and think about it my instinct is that there was more to it in terms of feelings I.e I think he was infatuated with her, I think he was a 40 year old man having a mid life crisis and flattered by the attentions of a young, attractive woman but i still don't know about them sleeping together. I just can't see it but then I wonder if that's just self preservation so I get confused all over again!

Fairenuff Wed 09-Oct-13 08:23:04

Does is really matter if they slept together though?

If they did, the next thing you will want to know is where, when, how many times, etc.

Surely the betrayal is in the way he has treated you.

He has been chasing after a young woman and getting a thrill out of it.

He has been keeping this secret from you because he knew he was betraying you.

He knew exactly what he was doing. And he did it anyway.

KtemaL Wed 09-Oct-13 10:09:38

Fairenuff - you're right that sleeping together doesn't necessarily make it worse, it's the betrayal, the lies, the deceit etc.

That's what he thinks i.e because they didn't actually sleep together he didn't think it was a 'proper' affair and therefore it's not as bad as it could have been etc etc. Don't think he gets the emotional stuff sad

Felt gutted this morning because he knows I'm going to counselling today and he didn't even text me this morning. He did manage to forward an email to me asking me if I could post an item he's sold on ebay though!! Grrr...

I responded to the email by saying "amazing, can't be arsed to text me to show any love or support but you can email to get me to do you a favour" he texted me after that to say sorry, he was goign to ring later today when our dd was home from school. But as I just said to him on text it's always a bit too late and he always has an excuse......

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 10:21:36

"That's what he thinks i.e because they didn't actually sleep together he didn't think it was a 'proper' affair and therefore it's not as bad as it could have been etc etc."

He expects you to be grateful that it wasn't any worse than he's admitting?

And as for "not thinking it was a proper affair" - he got himself a secret phone and was (at the very least) planning to shag her.

He is LYING when he says he didn't think it was a proper affair. He wants YOU to think that this was all a big misunderstanding.

But it wasn't.

He went to considerable lengths to keep his relationship with her going AFTER he knew you were upset about it.

His dishonesty is quite profound.

KtemaL Wed 09-Oct-13 11:45:59

Joinyourplayfellows - I know, that's exactly my issue sad I just don't know what to do about it.

He says he's sorry, it's all over, he wants to be with me and make this work 100% but even if I believe that, I can't seem to move forward from it because I just feel so hurt that he could do that to me.

I even drove him to the station one day when he was going to London and he received a text en route. I knew by his reaction that it was her - he was really flustered and jumpy and when I challenged him he said it was from his boss. When I asked to look at it, he said he'd deleted it because he'd jokingly called him a rude word and he didn't want the dc's to see it (they weren't even in the car!). We got out of the car and I was crying and saying please don't do this again. He insisted he wasn't seeing her and even sent me a text once he was on the train saying he wasn't seeing her, didn't want anything to do with her and loved me etc. Guess what?? Yup, he met her that day in London....

I just can't move on. But I love him so much I can't leave. Fuck.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 11:53:07

We got out of the car and I was crying and saying please don't do this again. He insisted he wasn't seeing her and even sent me a text once he was on the train saying he wasn't seeing her, didn't want anything to do with her and loved me etc. Guess what?? Yup, he met her that day in London...

The problem here is that he's already used up all his chances.

How can you believe a word he says ever again?

You KNOW now how easy he finds it to lie to you.

You KNOW that he was perfectly happy to continue to lie to you and make a fool of you even when you were crying and asking him to stop.

That is a really shocking level of disrespect and dishonesty.

You have basically no reason to believe a single thing he says to you now.

He is probably still seeing her.

Why would this time be different from all the others when you caught him and he said exactly the same stuff?

MissScatterbrain Wed 09-Oct-13 12:03:14

sad actions really do speak louder than words.

I know you love him but the person you love does not exist anymore.

FrancescaBell Wed 09-Oct-13 12:12:52

As a feminist, I dislike the tendency to give women no agency or autonomy, positioning us as perpetual 'victims'. It frustrates me no end when people are shocked if a woman is up front about seeking sex and relationships in the way that men have been socialised to, all their lives- and it perplexes me further when people refuse even to believe that a woman can be predatory, just because they've never seen it themselves. I have, but my position on that is 'So what?' Why is it more noteworthy just because a woman's doing it?

I just wanted to say all that before commenting that in this instance, there's no proof that this woman did anything worse than flirting. I can also see an argument that a 25 year old might lack the wisdom and experience to know how to handle a situation when a senior manager acts inappropriately. There might be a complex mix of things going on there: Feeling flattered, feeling powerful, getting an ego boost, finding someone 'safe' to flirt with, fear that an outright rejection might make working life difficult for her, plus all the years of socialisation that women have had that they must be polite and accommodating at all times.

From your point of view, this isn't good news. Because it's sounding like the only reason this didn't become a physical affair (assuming it didn't) was because she didn't want it to.

I agree he is being highly disingenuous in his claims. No, he wouldn't have thought it was an affair because it was probably too one-sided for that, but there doesn't seem to be any doubt that it would have been an affair if she'd been willing and that he would have kept that as secret from you as his wooing of her and trying to make this an affair.

I think he's encouraging you to think this woman was an equal protagonist because of two reasons: it takes the heat off him and because his ego would be shattered if you saw him as a predatory, creepy senior manager who'd been rejected by another woman.

And look, I'm not saying that this woman handled things in an ideal way. Not at all. Neither am I suggesting she didn't flirt back, but I've suggested a few reasons for that. But if I'd been her boss or confidante, I'd have given her some advice about the most effective ways to deal with this sort of workplace hazard, assuming she really wasn't interested in the least in having a relationship with her boss.

Try and see her behaviour and his through a different lens. The truth of this might be very different to the narrative you currently need to believe. I am saying this to you with kindness. I feel really sorry for the hurt you've suffered and I could understand it if some of these posts seem overly harsh on you when you've done nothing wrong. thanks

AnyFucker Wed 09-Oct-13 12:14:08

I am sorry, love, I agree with join

Your last post summed up the utter contempt he obviously has for you

I don't know why you would stick around after that, I really don't

DoeEyedBeauties Wed 09-Oct-13 12:17:19

I totally get your situation OP!!! Much the same was happening flirting, sending photos, meeting up for coffee, perfume on his suit jacket once, secret email. He denied them all up and down, until I found out another thing after another thing, etc.

Not for one second do I believe it wasn't sexual.

I will never trust him again.

He has turned the life of his children and I upside down completely.

Needless to say he is gone, well and truely.

And it's only been a few days, but I can't help thinking I have been blessed to have gotten away from that complicated, self-absorbed, selfish b*stard.

He is no longer my problem!!! Yippee!!!

I am so so so terrified about that long dark road ahead of me. But I am going one day at a time. I have my children and my self-respect. The rest is just details.

I hope there is a happy ending for you, OP, even if it isn't the one you imagined.

LessMissAbs Wed 09-Oct-13 13:36:23

I even drove him to the station one day when he was going to London and he received a text en route. I knew by his reaction that it was her - he was really flustered and jumpy and when I challenged him he said it was from his boss. When I asked to look at it, he said he'd deleted it because he'd jokingly called him a rude word and he didn't want the dc's to see it (they weren't even in the car!). We got out of the car and I was crying and saying please don't do this again. He insisted he wasn't seeing her and even sent me a text once he was on the train saying he wasn't seeing her, didn't want anything to do with her and loved me etc. Guess what?? Yup, he met her that day in London....

Yuk yuk yuk. What a sleazebag.

I hate this assumption that all women shag any man that shows them attention. In reality, most women I know find older married men pretty sad and undesirable. There is a huge difference between a young attractive woman with a good, well paid career, who is going places, and someone on the make. I don't think this woman sounds at all on the make. Even from your slant on this, its quite clear that she turned down her husband.

It is entirely likely that she was polite to him and slightly flattered at first, then came to her senses before anything physical happened (you mentioned his email referring to her refusing to kiss him).

Seriously, what younger woman with a good job is going to want a sleazebag who is trying to cheat on his wife? She has a boyfriend, and even if she didn't, there is a lot of choice out there for her.

Your "DH" OTOH seems to have made a decision to do this sort of thing, spin you lies to get away with it, because he wants to have fun with other women while having the security of you at home. I agree with kicking him out. He might just come to his senses. Why are you running yourself ragged trying to trace deleted texts and emails to prove something? What do you need to prove exactly that you don't already know?

FrancescaBell Wed 09-Oct-13 13:48:04

Oh what nonsense...

As if no-one's ever heard of a younger woman having an affair with a much older married man in the workplace hmm

Or an older married man leaving his wife for a colleague half his age.

It happens. So what?

But just because I've seen both of those things with my own eyes doesn't mean that's what's happened here.

LessMissAbs Wed 09-Oct-13 14:06:34

And equally FrancescaBell there are plenty of women who are sexually harassed in the workplace and plenty of women who down sleazy older married men. I mean, seriously, why would anyone want one of those?

FrancescaBell Wed 09-Oct-13 14:15:33

Yes I have never said there weren't. Blimey, I've sacked 2 men for just that!

There are lots of different scenarios in a workplace. If you read my posts on this thread, I was in fact querying the boss's behaviour (which leaves a lot to be desired in my view) and AFAIK was the first person to query why this young woman was the one facing all the consequences.

So I know what it takes to prove a sexual harassment case and it's not this, as described.

I think as posters we should deal with the actual facts and not projections based on our own (sometimes) limited experiences.

KtemaL Wed 09-Oct-13 15:17:50

Hi thanks for everyone's comments. I am trying to see where you all come from and I know that between you, you all have lots of experience (some of which has I'm sure come from going through similar hideous times).

However, it is really hard to see the wood from the trees when one post has one opinion and the next says the total opposite and, yes, I know that's what you get when you ask lots of different people for their opinions but I think this is making it even harder.

My OP was asking if others have gone through this type of crap, rebuilt trust and moved on and, if so, how they'd done that. I wasn't asking for an opinion on whether my dh is a sleazebag or I should throw him out of our family home. Those may well be decisions I come to on my own but they aren't anyone else's to make and I'm not sure that anyone should ever say simply 'kick him out'. That's a massive decision with massive repercussions on everyone, not just me and him, and not something anyone can tell another person to do when in reality only bits and pieces of a story are told.

FrancescaBell - I think what I'm trying to say is that I whole heartedly agree with your post i.e base on the facts not opinion. smile

I know my dh is an idiot, I know he's an arse, I know he's treated me appallingly.. Not sure I need everyone to keep telling me that if there's no constructive advice that goes with it!

Many of these posts have been constructive and I thank everyone for those but I think I need to move forward on my own now. I have just returned from my first solo session with a counsellor and feel positive about focusing on me for a change. In her words 'what happens with your relationship will happen' What I need to focus on is myself to ensure that whatever happens I come out of this a stronger, happier person so that I have the strength to cope with whatever lies ahead.

Maybe in 12 months I'll post again to say we made it, maybe the post will say we didn't but either way, thanks for your thoughts, comments and suggestions and I hope that everyone on here struggling with the same, or similar, issues finds their own happy ending thanks

Ilovebreakfast Wed 09-Oct-13 17:36:37

You have a lot if history with your dh and I assume many happy times and lovely dc. Of course you are going to explore every option before reaching a decision. It is no surprise you want to consider saving your marriage.
It sounds as if he had an emotional affair, maybe physical. But not all men or women sleep with each during affairs. Follow your gut instinct re whether you think it turned physical.
His behaviour has been poor. Getting his head turned by a younger colleague is very very hurtful. That will probably never go away and you may have to learn strategies to cope with it. Do you genuinely feel your dh is remorseful. Is he doing everything he can to try to make you feel secure. He has to accept that you will be throwing anger and upset at him for a long time yet.

Xales Wed 09-Oct-13 18:04:30

The sad thing is you just give more and more chances.

You found out in April, it was over, you gave another chance.

You found out in June he was still at it, it was over, you gave another chance.

Clearly all the stuff you were doing date nights etc were not working as again in August you found out he was at it again.

The only thing that may have made a difference because he would have had to face others about what he had done was the counselling. Funny that was the only thing he decided was a waste of time and is refusing to do.

This has now been going on over half a year. All he does every few months when he thinks you have forgiven and forgotten is carry on regardless of any hurt it causes you.

How many chances does he deserve.

Can you forgive and move on? How many times do you want to have to?

Fairenuff Wed 09-Oct-13 20:33:36

Each time you forgive him and he cheats again, a little bit of you dies.

The part of you that loves unconditionally, that has blind faith and trust, that has hope and resilience.

By the time he's finished you will be a shadow of your former self.

How many chances does one person need?

Is it possible to move on? Not in the same way, no. You have a new relationship with him now.

If you just met him recently, if you were going out on your first date with him and he said, look, I will probably cheat on you repeatedly but you'll learn to live with it right? - what would your answer be? Would there even be a second date? Probably not.

But because he's doing it little by little, bit by bit, you are accepting each stage and adjusting your perception of what is ok.

What he is doing to you is not ok.

Fairenuff Wed 09-Oct-13 20:36:50

Each time you forgive him and he cheats again, a little bit of you dies.

The part of you that loves unconditionally, that has blind faith and trust, that has hope and resilience.

By the time he's finished you will be a shadow of your former self.

How many chances does one person need?

Is it possible to move on? Not in the same way, no. You have a new relationship with him now.

If you just met him recently, if you were going out on your first date with him and he said, look, I will probably cheat on you repeatedly but you'll learn to live with it right? - what would your answer be? Would there even be a second date? Probably not.

But because he's doing it little by little, bit by bit, you are accepting each stage and adjusting your perception of what is ok.

What he is doing to you is not ok.

LessMissAbs Wed 09-Oct-13 22:23:45

FrancescaBell I think as posters we should deal with the actual facts and not projections based on our own (sometimes) limited experiences

You seem unfamiliar with the relevant case law under the SDA75, several examples of which are not only in in point on point of law but also on point of fact.

FrancescaBell Thu 10-Oct-13 00:29:57

I've read that post several times LessMiss and I just can't understand it. Really not being snarky because if something's a typo or it's more or less obvious what was meant, I'd never claim a loss of understanding.

Understood the first part though and on the contrary, I'm very familiar with the original Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the law that superceded it (Equality Act 2010).

Anyway, my main reason for posting was to wish the OP well and to express my regret that the diversity of opinions and the harshness of some of the posts are deterring you from continuing with this thread.

I do sort of understand your decision though. I've never been through anything like this myself, but I can imagine if I had I might find some of this a bit overwhelming and in parts, unhelpful.

Can I suggest you reserve the option to update the thread or start a new one if you still feel you need some support? For now, good luck.

AndYouCanDance Thu 10-Oct-13 05:58:39

Hi OP. Not sure if you are still reading, but I wanted to let you know that I have been in your position and we have moved on.

It was awful and messy, but we are now 7 years down the line and very happy.

Like you I confronted the OW (sheer rage). The only difference was I did it face to face and made a total twit of myself in front of many many people blush.

Strange to say, I hardly think about it any more. Can't believe I feel like that really. It was deeply traumatic at the time.

The difference is DH left his workplace. I could not have coped if they had continued to work together.

LessMissAbs Thu 10-Oct-13 13:06:20

FrancescaBell I've read that post several times LessMiss and I just can't understand it. Really not being snarky because if something's a typo or it's more or less obvious what was meant, I'd never claim a loss of understanding

There was an additional "in", written in error, in the sentence to which you refer.

I am surprised you were unable to understand the entire sentence due to this, and are unfamiliar with the terms "in point", "point of law" and "point of fact".

Perhaps you would like to explain why cases decided under the SDA75 no longer stand, particularly those more "senior" judgments which are now part of mainstream case law. I am sure the courts would be delighted to discover that you can personally overrule judicial precedent. There are many cases of sexual harassment in similar circumstances as described in the OP's scenario. I assume you are aware of the burdens that face women bringing cases based on sexual harassment in the workplace? And that there are many instances of workplace sexual harassment which do not get reported because there employees are deterred from bringing them.

For you to suggest that the OP's scenario may not constitute sexual harassment is just as much projection as for me to say that it possibly does. None of us have examined the evidence, taken affidavits, etc but to go around giving the opinion that cases of sexual harassment never arise out of such circumstances is rather bizarre. You appear to have a hidden agenda against the woman in this scenario which is possibly clouding your judgement - but again, this is speculation on my part. And quite deliberately so.

Admittedly I work in a mainly civil law jurisdiction, but I would have thought that some familiarity with the concepts of judicial precedent and stare decisis, as terms at least, would be a prerequisite for understanding the case law relating to sex discrimination.

OP - just kick him out, instead of running around after him, "trying to find out the truth". It will probably do your chances of restoring the marriage in the long term more good than if he thinks he can mislead you and get away with it without sanction.

LessMissAbs Thu 10-Oct-13 13:08:13

Apologies FrancescaBell but I am dual qualified and I assumed everyone qualified in one jurisdiction would have a working knowledge of the terminology of the other.

FrancescaBell Thu 10-Oct-13 16:46:09

Do you really think this sort of self-aggrandisement is appropriate on a poster's support thread? Really?

I could make mincemeat of your claims, misquotes and accusations of an 'agenda', the latter point being especially bizarre seeing as I'm the only other poster on this thread who has tried to see this from the young colleague's point of view confused.

But it really isn't appropriate on a thread like this.

LessMissAbs Thu 10-Oct-13 19:11:42

Do you really think this sort of self-aggrandisement is appropriate on a poster's support thread? Really? I couldn't agree more.

I think as posters we should deal with the actual facts and not projections based on our own (sometimes) limited experiences

I have dealt with a few sex discrimination cases, and the facts of the scenario the OP narrated are not dissimilar, however I suspect the OP is in denial. I have no idea why you object to this being pointed out, nor to basic legal terminology being used, but res ipsa locquiter - the facts speak for themselves.

KtemaL Thu 10-Oct-13 20:09:40

Popped back to update and, yet again, wish I hadn't! However, couldn't help but respond...

LessMissAbs - I am not in denial - please stop trying to speak on my behalf. You have no idea about me or my life and your half baked assumptions are absolutely no help whatsoever. I pity anyone else who's thread you decide to impose your views on. A lot of people, me included, are on here looking for support and information. We don't come on here to be judged by people like you who feel you have some god given right to judge everyone and their lives.

Just because you're a feminist it does not make you an expert on all things female and you are not speaking for everyone when you spout your ill-thought out views and opinions. And I wish you'd stop trying to impress with your legal jargon and grandiose speak, it doesn't impress it just makes you look like an arse.

I didn't go into that much detail so not sure what 'facts' you are basing your opinions on but as you judged me (and my dh) so instantly perhaps you'd now like to eat your words and apologise. I have tonight seen texts (restored via iTunes sync) and I can categorically confirm that this ow was sending my dh texts of an overtly sexual nature and by that I mean starting texts telling him in no uncertain terms what she would like to do to him etc etc.

I'm sure that, like all great feminists, you'll come up with yet another half baked theory as to why this is i.e she felt under pressure to do that in case she lost her job...blah blah blah. Total BS.

Perhaps instead of attacking people you should take a deep breath and think it through. Maybe, just maybe, she's a total f***ing bitch who was more than happy to flirt outrageously with a married man and send him explicit texts, meet him for drinks, kiss him, flirt with him etc all whilst living with her bf of 6 years and knowing full well he was a married man with two children? And maybe, just maybe, she's done it all before with another member of staff in the same company??? FACT!

Nothing excuses my dh's behaviour in this and I'm not blaming her, just asking you to stop passing judgement on my life when, in fact you know F all.

If you have something constructive to say regarding personal experience of moving on from an EA or working through issues such as this then please feel free but otherwise please just shut up.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 10-Oct-13 20:16:26

Has seeing the texts helped? Do you feel better for seeing them?

KtemaL Thu 10-Oct-13 20:35:59

JoinYourPlayFellows - I wouldn't say it's made me feel better. Never easy seeing texts like that, especially the ones from my dh to her. However, I do feel a bit of relief now that I have seen them in the sense that I know a bit more of the truth and I do believe that he hasn't been sexually harassing her. It was totally clear it was a mutual thing, doesn't make it acceptable though!

My dh is home tomorrow night and he has contacted a counsellor whilst away and arranged an appointment for us both next week as he said he will do whatever it takes to prove he's sorry and won't do this again.

I still don't know what I'll do long term but actually feel much stronger already having had a few days break from him so will go to the joint counselling, continue with my solo counselling separately and see what happens over the next few weeks. Day off work tomorrow and off out for retail therapy and bellini's at Jamie's Italian with best girlfriend smile.

LessMissAbs Thu 10-Oct-13 21:10:00

OP - if you want everyone to agree with you, perhaps you should consider whether or not to post on internet forums.

I am so sorry I have offended you. I was only trying to help. I hope you reach the position you are looking for in your marriage. I don't think making rude remarks about other women is the way forward, and its surprising to learn your DH is virtually innocent at this late stage, but nonetheless I wish you luck.

Ilovebreakfast Thu 10-Oct-13 21:21:48

Oh do shut up *less. Leave the op alone, are you stupid? No way has she said her dh us blameless. She is going through an awful time and needs support.

Op enjoy your shopping trip and bellinis. Do things that make you feel good at the moment.

FrancescaBell Thu 10-Oct-13 21:23:53

The OP isn't saying her husband is 'virtually innocent'. Goodness me, where the hell are you getting some of these extrapolations and misquotes from what other people post LessMiss? It's as though you're re-writing others' posts in your head and it is very odd.

I'm glad you've seen the texts OP, but this is where you came in really. You thought it was a mutual thing and it was.

I hope you reach some resolution for your own self now.

Oh, and please don't tar Feminism with this brush. No feminist I know would treat a hurt woman like that. That's got nothing to do with feminism- nothing at all.

KtemaL Thu 10-Oct-13 21:28:16

Again, putting words into people's mouths and making ridiculous assumptions. For someone who seems to want to prove their superior intelligence over everyone else you really are being quite dense.

I don't recall once saying my dh was "virtually innocent" at any stage, let alone now. I think in fact, if you actually bothered to read my posts you'd find I have said the exact opposite of that throughout i.e she owed me nothing, it was him that broke our vows, her being complicit in the affair doesn't make it acceptable etc etc.

I have also never said I wanted everyone to "agree with me". Again, you clearly haven't read my posts. I originally came on here looking for some info/advice/support as to how other people may have coped in a similar situation and any suggestions for ways to try and move forward.

Be very clear on this - you have not helped me once, in any way and I have no idea how you think you would possibly have helped when all you have done is to berate me for my thoughts and made out I'm some pathetic victim who doesn't have a brain. You have tried to use this thread as a forum for your own self promotion. Get over yourself, not everything is about you and your views.

And finally, I don't think I have made particularly rude remarks about "other women". You maybe, but that's only in reply and people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones because if we're talking about rudeness - have another read of your posts, you haven't just been unhelpful and to me but rude to other posters who challenge you in any way - case in point is your posts above to FrancescaBell (or should that be case on point, or point of should know, after all you are "dual qualified" wink

Helpful? I think not...

KtemaL Thu 10-Oct-13 21:31:37

Ilovebreakfast and FrancescaBell - sorry just refreshed and saw your posts. Thank you. Will see how things go and have a feeling that whatever happens, I will come out of this stronger.

TBH LessMissAbs posts have at least made me laugh out loud so at least that's a plus!! wink

Fairenuff Thu 10-Oct-13 21:51:07

he said he will do whatever it takes to prove he's sorry and won't do this again

I guess the million dollar question is, do you believe him?

He has said this before, after all.

What is different this time?

I think you should ask him to do two things - to show, by his actions, rather that trite words, that he will do 'whatever it takes to prove he's sorry'

1) Tell him to get an sti check and to show you the paperwork to prove he's clear


2) Tell him to move out to give you some space and time to think about what you want and whether you even want to try again with him.

You may not think he needs an sti check, or you may not want to separate but, even so, this would be a way to test his commitment to you. Right now, he's got it all a bit cushy and he should be made to feel more uncomfortable than this.

If he refuses to do either of these things, then you know he is all talk and does not really mean what he says, again.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 10-Oct-13 22:16:30

"It was totally clear it was a mutual thing, doesn't make it acceptable though!"

Well it doesn't make it acceptable in terms of your marriage and his betrayal of you.

But it does make it less unpalatable and more straightforward.

Him cheating on you is something that you can (possibly) forgive, him being a sexual pest to other women is something you could at best overlook and then only by compromising your own integrity in a pretty fundamental way.

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