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Emotional affair, dp found out. Now what?

(139 Posts)
YesIveNameChanged Fri 01-Nov-13 21:23:29

That's basically it to be honest

I've been having an emotional affair for the past few months. So as not to drip feed the EA was with someone I have a history with, but who I'd been NC with for quite some years until recently.

Dp found the messages we had been sending one another and has basically said I'm dead to him and we're over. He's no interested in talking about it, has just said I'm an idiot and a mug. (He's now gone out for a drive)

I have 2 very young dcs with dp. I've lost my financial independence as I only work part time 3 evenings a week so I can be at home for the kids during the day. Dp says he's going to keep the kids, can he do this?

I know I need to see citizens advice to get some info about benefits I can claim, but is there anything I can do this weekend?

I don't think this is fixable between us. I've screwed up massively but I just want to make sure my dc's don't suffer from the fallout.

Oh well that's the affair lost its sparkle now I bet. All you can do is be honest, stop lying and give him space to decide of he still wants to be with you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 01-Nov-13 21:38:56

You need legal advice so CAB should be able to help. DP can't 'keep the kids' that's just an angry knee-jerk reaction on his part. The usual starting point is a 50/50 shared parenting arrangement with emphasis on time with Mum if the children are very small ie pre school age. The children won't suffer if you take a mature approach to the shared parenting as a couple and keep their best interests top of mind.

Yes you've screwed up but don't let guilt cloud your judgement when it comes to your DCs

Sparklysilversequins Fri 01-Nov-13 21:44:09

No he cannot keep your kids. He could have 50:50 contact though.

It's early days. Benefits wise look at entitled to then get your phone numbers ready to begin the claims on Monday.

It's happened, these things do, but it's nothing to do with your role as a parent so don't let him make out that it is.

YesIveNameChanged Fri 01-Nov-13 21:58:25

Dc's are 3 and 10 months so very young.

Dp is saying I should be the one to leave and he'll get the dc's. As awful as it sounds I can cope with our relationship breaking down, but I want to do what's right for my children

lovetheprintedword Fri 01-Nov-13 21:59:33

No, he can't take your children and it's highly unlikely he'd even get 50:50 contact with young DC, so he can fuck right off with that threat.

Do you still want to be with him?

RandomMess Fri 01-Nov-13 22:00:52

You are the primary carer so the very least you will get is 50:50, if you are still breast feeding he can't force you stop!

BrickorCleat Fri 01-Nov-13 22:03:24

Nonsense, he will not gain custody because you had an emotional affair; he is trying to hurt and frighten you.

When the dust has settled, you need to speak respectfully and honestly to each other about co-parenting and practicalities.

Good luck and I hope that you find happiness in your life.

Harryhairypig Fri 01-Nov-13 22:05:32

Are you house owners or renting? Joint owners or in one of your names, if the house is in your name too then you can stay put, if it's in his name only, then I'm not sure as you are not married but you need legal advice on this ASAP. You are the main carer so unlikely he would get the children or even as much as 50/50 at this stage. You may not have acted honourably to him, but he can't take the children as he says.

Shapechanger Fri 01-Nov-13 22:06:27

Don't know what the backstory is... EAs happen for a reason, it doesn't matter whose 'fault' it was. He's angry and aggrieved, that's irrelevant in all ways in terms of what arrangements are made for the children. If they are with you during the day, you are the main carer.

Don't let him guilt trip you into doing anything that isn't in their interests, they are not possessions to be fought over.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 01-Nov-13 22:26:10

Does he often make threats regarding you and your children's relationship?

Sparklysilversequins Fri 01-Nov-13 22:27:00

Do NOT let him force you out and away from your dc.

olgaga Fri 01-Nov-13 22:30:12

Don't listen to all this 50:50 stuff, it's completely ridiculous given the age of your children. Stay put.

Yes you've messed up and he is hurt and angry, as you would be if you had found out he had done what you have done.

But he has no right to expect you to leave your children, or your home.

Just stick it out and tell him you're not going anywhere without the children.

Hopefully you'll be able to resolve things given time but even if not, he can't just chuck you out!

LEMisafucker Fri 01-Nov-13 22:33:11

Things are very raw at the moment, he is hurt and angry, give him some time to calm down - there is probably good reason you went NC with the other guy in the first place.

If you want to be with him, tell him, tell him you will give him the space he needs (not leaving the house obviously) but that you want to make things work (assuming you do) and then let him have the time to assess how he feels.

It doesn't have to be then end.

Spirulina Fri 01-Nov-13 22:35:40

Don't be fooled....either one of you could become primary carer. If he kicks you out snd keeps them with him then it's his chance to get it right in time for when bit reaches court. Nothing stopping him doing this from tonight onwards.... No legal advice can prevent this or put the kids back in your care until it's in front of a judge

Don't know why MN seems to think mums have the upper hand automatically? Dads are just as valid these days and courts are more aware of this

olgaga Fri 01-Nov-13 22:58:31

If he "kicked you out" of your home then you would call 999.

Based on the information you have given, you are your children's primary carer.

It doesn't sound as if you were putting your children first when you had an affair that has now put their secure family upbringing into jeopardy. At least on Mumsnet you'll be forgiven because its just an 'emotional affair'. hmm

skyeskyeskye Fri 01-Nov-13 23:20:19

If you were posting that he was having an EA, you would probably be told to tell him to leave.. So you must see why he is telling you to leave. He is the wronged partner not you.

But, you have small children and you and them need to remain in the family home. He would not get custody.

Your DP may choose to forgive you and work things through, and he may not. That is his prerogative, as you have betrayed his trust and lied to him and cheated on him. He now stands to lose his home and family due to your behaviour. So you have to accept that he is going to be very hurt and angry at the moment.

You need to sit down and talk this through and be totally honest with each other.

Spirulina Sat 02-Nov-13 00:08:57

Why is everyone saying 'he won't get custody'?

Firstly, there is no longer such a thing as 'custody'.... It's residency and courts promote 59/50 where possible

Secondly,you both are equal parents. A mother doesn't get automatic rights to anything. Courts like to maintain the status quo... Which at present is with you op, as 'main carer'. But that could change. If your DP becomes main carer by excluding you, then by the time it gets to court, probably 6 months time, then the dc could be in a routine with dad as main carer...

Sparklysilversequins Sat 02-Nov-13 00:21:51

I get so very tired of this idea that people who have affairs are bad parents. They're just people who fucked up. It bears no relevance to their abilities as parents. Woman or Man. You see it on here all the time and the constant lampooning that The Bad Parent must be the one to tell the children he/she has shattered their lives. No they haven't, they've fucked up and everyone will be affected but that's life and now there may be a few changes.

Do not leave those children OP, If he tries to make you, call the police. That's exactly the same advice I would give a Man or a Woman who is the main carer because at the end of it all keeping things as normal as possible for dc is what matters. If OP is the main carer then that should continue. Anything else is selfish and me, me, me on the part of the wronged adult in the relationship.

AuntieStella Sat 02-Nov-13 00:22:57

Is he back from the drive, and when will you have a child-free opportunity to talk to him?

Aim off that he's had a hell of a shock and a first angry outburst may well not be his true position.

You both need thinking and planning times for the practicalities of what comes next. The important thing is that your DC have a roof over their heads, continuity of care, and adequate income to the care-giver to allow them to be looked after in as similar a style as can be achieved.

As you are currently the main care-giver, then in the short term, that means you, whist you and he sort out what is possible. 50/50 is the start point for working out residency/contact, as it is held that DC deserve both parents. But it's never set in stone.

You are probably in shock too. This is the time to research your options, and if you can avoid making big decisions until the dust has settled. Do you have anyone around who can offer you support, irrespective of who did what to land you in these circumstances?

Shapechanger Sat 02-Nov-13 02:14:05

Excellent post, Sparklysequins.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 02-Nov-13 02:25:01

If the DP is working full time 5 days a week, while the OP is working part time in the evenings (presumably to avoid paying ££££ for childcare, which would be hugely expensive for a 10 month old and a 3 year old), then it's unlikely he is going to be able to become the main carer.

Methinks some people are just enjoying twisting the knife on the OP as they feel she deserves to be punished.

The 2nd part of Sparkly's post is spot on advice OP.

YesIveNameChanged Sat 02-Nov-13 06:34:08

Thank you for all the responses.

At the moment Dp is refusing to engage in conversation about it. He's not interested in discussing why or whether or not we can fix it. He told me I'm "dead to him"

We don't own a property just rent, both names on the tenancy agreement. I had a brief look at benefits last night, and the finances look manageable if I can keep working as well; does anyone know roughly how long it takes to get things like housing benefit and tax credits set up? Ideally I'd want to stay here with the dc as we've moved a lot over the past few years and only just started to get settled.

I have no support network here though, only dp and my mil. It's all so confusing right now

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Nov-13 06:37:57

You'll need to talk to CAB or similar to get the information you need because it can vary from place to place. If you tell them that you are effectively being made homeless with your DCs as a result of relationship breakdown they'll probably move a little faster. Don't you have any friends or family to talk to? Not even on the phone?

lunar1 Sat 02-Nov-13 06:48:12

You need to go somewhere and give him space to think. You only want to fix things because you have been caught not because you realised you love him.

Why on earth should he leave his home and children for your behaviour? If this was the other way round you would get told to kick him out, and of course he can't take the kids.

Vivacia Sat 02-Nov-13 06:53:38

I know things aren't going to be easy for you, but I feel so sorry for your partner. Overnight he's lost his partner and family life. He's going to have to move and live somewhere less pleasant, see less of his kids and pay maintenance to the woman who cheated on him. I'm not surprised he won't talk to you yet.

I think all you can do is give it some time, get legal advice and start putting your children first.

lunar1 Sat 02-Nov-13 08:43:53

Why would her partner have to move?

happyyonisleepyyoni Sat 02-Nov-13 08:58:11

Excellent post from sparkly sequins.

OP is the main carer, for very young children. In the event of relationship breakdown, it's in the best interests of the children to stay with her in the family home.

happyyonisleepyyoni Sat 02-Nov-13 09:02:34

Posted too soon.

I can't believe the posters who are suggesting she should walk out on her 3 year old and 10 month old baby.

Sparklysilversequins Sat 02-Nov-13 09:08:47

OP, how do you feel about it all? To be honest there's not much mention of loving him and wanting to get him back, you seem very focused on the practical arrangements, which is fine. Do you even want to be with him?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Nov-13 09:13:24

I agree with you happyyonisleepyyoni. This couple can't live in the same place long-term, there's going to have to be some shared parenting involved, but there's not a court in the land that would take a baby or toddler away from their mother as primary carer unless there's some evidence of serious abuse or neglect. Separated couples often have to co-habit for a while if there's no practical alternative.

OP... is there more to this story? Don't want to be accused of double standards and obviously an emotional affair is very poor behaviour, but the way it's described sounds very flat and final and 'dead to me' is an odd expression. Struck that you say you have no friends, family or other support.

lunar1 Sat 02-Nov-13 09:57:50

I feel very sad for the man in all this, the double standards are horrible. His situation is basically that his partner has an affair, he then has to chose between getting over it right away or move out of his home and away from his children?

If it was a poster saying their dh had an emotional affair would anybody dare to ask the op what she did to cause it?

Does her partner really not deserve any space in his home to think about what he wants?

It all sounds very much like men and women should be treated equally, except when true equality doesn't give the result we want, then its all shrieking about children being torn away from their mother.

Sparklysilversequins Sat 02-Nov-13 10:01:25

Well I would say the same to whoever was the main carer man or woman.

I am not sure it's double standards as such just that women are often the main carer so the same rules simply cannot apply.

LEMisafucker Sat 02-Nov-13 10:13:51

The OP seems quite happy for this relationship to end tbh, so maybe it has run its course.

I have an online friendship with a man - he has been very good to me, i suppose you could call it an EA, I am not sure if i love him but i care for him very much. My DP knows about this and whilst he is hmm about it, he accepts that i need this person in my life - he is much older than i am so probably more a father figure, we have never met and probably never will. My DP was upset when he first found out and i said i would not contact this person anymore but he said it was ok. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful understanding DP, i started this friendship with my online friend when things were really bad between DP and myself and he was very supportive and still is supportive when i have stuff going on in my life that i can't deal with - yes there was an element of flirting at first but now we are just friends. I have "known him for 8 years and DP known about him for 5, he has even asked me to ask him about some business stuff he had experience of - i don't think they'll ever be friends though.

I don't consider that i have been unfaithful to my DP but i was devestated when he found out (even though i wasn't really hiding it, does that make any sense) and would have stopped things immediately if that was what he wanted - i know my situation is very different to the OP but you can come back from this, if you both want to.

The question of who should leave the home is not about man versus woman. Yes in this case the woman was at fault but she's also the main carer for two young children and they need to stay with her for now.
To be honest I believe she should offer to move out (taking the children) and offer him a sensible contact agreement. I don't think it's fair that he should be asked to move out. It's possible that he won't want to stay in the bigger property if he has to pay maintenance too bit that should be his decision.
I don't think you will get much sense out of him while he's so angry though.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Nov-13 10:27:07

"Does her partner really not deserve any space in his home to think about what he wants? "

I think he does deserve some space but the only way he gets this is to tell the OP to leave with the DCs. Which means three people being relocated and that's going to take time. She can't leave them behind and it's not 'shrieking' to expect a baby to stay with their Mum, it's commonsense

lunar1 Sat 02-Nov-13 12:17:12

I feel very sorry for the partner in this situation. He may lose everything through no fault of his own.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 02-Nov-13 13:29:20

I feel sorry for the partner too, lunar. But taking the children a way from their main carer as a "punishment" for the O.P's behaviour won't improve matters.

Branleuse Sat 02-Nov-13 13:45:52

you suck it up, apologise for cheating. you split up and move out, and take the children if you are the primary caregiver, and you find somewhere else to live, or he moves out, depending on what arrangement you can come to with him.

arsenaltilidie Sat 02-Nov-13 14:10:33

It's its the best interest for everyone for the DC to stay with their primary carer but no wonder some men are a bit reluctant to get married.

Through no fault of his own he has found himself in a situation where he has to move out of his own home and will likely end up seeing his children once every 2 weeks.

Lweji Sat 02-Nov-13 14:16:29

And yet, arsenal, it's mostly women who find themselves in poverty and holding the children, through no fault of their own, after their OH's cheat on them. I wonder how women still want to have children.

I very much doubt he will actually want to keep the children, except saying it now to punish the op.

Hang on.

You broke his trust. You pissed all over your relationship. Why should he be the one to move?

I'm not saying you shouldn't have the children. You're the primary caregiver.

Unless he leaves work to stay at home full time then it should be you who has them for the majority, at least while they're so young.

But him leave his own home because you had an affair? Really?? Wow.

Branleuse Sat 02-Nov-13 14:31:04

I definitely think you should be the one to move

arsenaltilidie Sat 02-Nov-13 14:40:46

Lweji I wonder how women still want to have children
your logic??

Lweji Sat 02-Nov-13 14:55:11

I could retype my post

Charlie1972 Sat 02-Nov-13 16:17:42

In with waltermittymissus.

You leave, find a flat, figure out where youre head is.

You cheated, you lied and put your children at risk, betrayed your own flesh and blood.

Move in with your lover. See how keen the other man becomes then.

maypoledancer Sat 02-Nov-13 16:37:53

I definitely think you should be the one to move

Only if it's better for the children and it likely isn't. This attitude is predicated on the OP deserving punishment, not based on a grown up and clear eyed view of what is in the children's interests.

An EA can vary in the extent to which it constitutes 'unfaithfulness'. Some might involve a lot of sexual disloyalty without direct sexual contact taking place. And they might involve saying horrible insulting, private and disloyal things about the partner.

Some might just be like the one (rather touchingly, IMO) described upthread where someone finds another person outside their primary relationship fulfills an emotional need.

There is a spectrum and it's very judgey and overly simplistic to describe it as 'cheating'.

Some people are such control freaks they think that any person of the opposite sex in their partners life is a threat and takes away from the sacred relationship. That even a bit of mild flirting for example (which can just be fun) is cheating. Ditto any kind of sharing of thoughts and feelings. This is, I think, an unhealthy view. It is not realistic for most people to have all their needs met by one individual and this notion of finding complete fulfillment in the company of, and connection with, one person can often lead to dissatisfaction, failure of expectations and ultimately relationship breakdown.

HotDogSlaughter Sat 02-Nov-13 16:45:08

I think he is massively overreacting. I take it you didn't even sleep with the guy?
Wow. The you are dead to me is pathetic. You are the mother of his children.

Sparklysilversequins Sat 02-Nov-13 16:48:02

"Betrayed your own flesh and blood"

Emotive bollocks!

She did nothing to her dc. This is about her relationship with her DP, it's NOTHING to do with her dc.

Sparklysilversequins Sat 02-Nov-13 16:49:01

I agree Hotdog. And I don't think he's the only one judging my some of the posts on this thread.

mrsravelstein Sat 02-Nov-13 16:54:09

gosh what a lot of people projecting on this thread. sparklysilversequins has given very sensible advice.

Sparklysilversequins Sat 02-Nov-13 17:02:03

He sounds very punitive and aggressive to me. I'd be interested to know if he's generally like this in all areas of the relationship.

So on the logic of some of you on here, the OP and her two very small children, one under a year old, to whom she is the main carer need to leave their home and be totally disrupted because it's not fair on him to have to leave? The only part of that that makes any sense is "it's not fair". No it isn't but he's going to suck it up because that's what's best for the dc. And OP will now be a lone parent a lot of the time which is pretty hard work btw.

To be perfectly frank who really knows anything about this relationship or whether it could be repaired because old Drama Llama is pretending OP is dead and refuses to communicate with her.

I'd say exactly the same if the OP was a man and the roles reversed because it's not about gender it's about little kids needing the worlds not to be turned upside down. It's not about grown adults getting what's "fair".

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Nov-13 17:03:57

OP... hope some of the responses here haven't scared you off. Have you been able to talk to each other yet?

HotDogSlaughter Sat 02-Nov-13 18:11:34

He is being fucking ridiculous actually, and extremely selfish.

It sounds like he wants out and is using this very minor indiscresion as an excuse.

Spirulina Sat 02-Nov-13 20:30:27

Suppose op continues the EA and it moves on further? A new man to factor in...

Also, op DP could have 50/50 which is the starting point in court for contact. So effectively could have the dc for 3/4 days at a time. He will need a home for them as well. So moving out would solve nothing either

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 02-Nov-13 23:30:54

Spirulina - how will DP have the children for 3/4 days at a time when he works full time and from the sounds of their current arrangements, they can't afford to put the children in nursery?


Also, you're on about "in court". They aren't married and couples are generally encouraged to sort out their own arrangements, or go to mediation before court happens.

It's a bit grim, the knife twisting that's going on here.

Although, I wouldn't want to minimise the EA. Everyone is entitled to their dealbreakers.

saggytummy Sun 03-Nov-13 00:22:03

Just a word of caution about the cab, I went for advice and was given completely the wrong information. Have a look at other threads on here and try entitled to and I would also point out that op isn't here for those of you who feel like it to throw vile comments, be grown up and help or ignore. Hope you get sorted.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 01:36:50

OP, you need to give him time to think. Are you bfing? If so then it would be better for him to go and stay with a friend or his mum until he works out what he wants to do, if not then I think it would be respectful for you to stay elsewhere for a while. He is the children's father and, unless you have proof to claim otherwise, he is just as capable of raising your (as in both of of your) children.

When he has calmed down you can talk properly about residency and access etc.

Just because you haven't done anything physical with this other man doesn't mean it will hurt any less. I am a bit shocked at some of the replies you're receiving. What did you think would happen when you engaged in this behaviour?

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 10:30:03

I'm shocked that people think the OP should leave her kids one of whom is a baby because a grown adult is upset.

Vivacia Sun 03-Nov-13 10:35:42

I'm shocked that people think the OP should leave her kids one of whom is a baby because a grown adult is upset.

I think we should keep that advice for next time a poster is on here saying that they've found out their partner has had an emotional affair, "why should they have to leave just because you, a grown adult, is upset?".

HotDogSlaughter Sun 03-Nov-13 11:34:56

The DP is not thinking of his children. He is being selfish and totally childish to tell op she is dead to him after a few emotional exchanges with another guy which may be down to problems within the marriage anyway.

Jesus he needs to grow up and think about the consequences for the poor children.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 03-Nov-13 11:35:26

Vivacia - again the key difference is that the mother is the primary carer for the children.

Vivacia Sun 03-Nov-13 11:38:01

Absolutely Gosh and the children shouldn't be removed from her. However, I don't think his position should be dismissed as a "grown adult being upset". He has every reason to be angry and hurt after being betrayed. Which is why we don't tell women who have been wronged to be "grown up" about their partners' affairs.

Vivacia Sun 03-Nov-13 11:40:42

The DP is not thinking of his children. We don't know that HotDog. He equally might be angry and hurt on behalf of his children as well as himself.

Jesus he needs to grow up and think about the consequences for the poor children. He's not the only one, and he's not in this position because of his own actions.

I hope the OP is in a better position today and has a clearer picture of what's going to happen.

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:24

I am not dismissing his upset. I am answering those who are saying it should come before the well being of the dc, ie OP moving out and leaving them with him.

The dc are probably used to Dad being gone for extended periods of time, not so with Mum and this will cause the distress, especially the 10 month old. In this case I do think that trumps his upset.

Vivacia Sun 03-Nov-13 11:55:02

this will cause the distress... In this case I do think that trumps his upset.

I agree, both parents should have been making choices to not cause their children distress.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 11:57:26

sparkling I do get your point but I think the onus is on the OP to be making things right. She cannot expect to get found out and everything to be okay. That's not how it works.

They are BOTH the DC's parents and have an equal right and responsibility to care for them. They should definitely not be removed from their home. How about the OP moves out (if she isn't bfing) and goes to the house each day whilst the father is working.

She is the one in the wrong here and the presumption that the DCs would be harmed more by their mother living elsewhere for a short time is sexist. Do you think single dads are worse parents than single mothers?

I have been in the dad's position and I threw DS's father out as it was the third time he had done this. It nearly fucking killed me but I had to do it, there was no way I was letting DS grow up believing that his father's behaviour was an acceptable way of treating someone he supposedly loved.

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 11:57:40

But she did and its not particularly proactive to keep dwelling on her "punishment" is it? If there were no dc involved then she should of course move out. But there is.

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 11:59:18

I don't think she does expect everything to be ok, not from the posts I have read. She seems to want to protect her dc from any further damage. She's not posted much do we don't really know whether or not she is willing to accept her punishment or not.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 12:04:07

As you said, it's not about her punishment, she will be suffering I have no doubt. It is about the children's well being which is why I said that they should not be removed from their home. What is important is that she has no right to expect to carry on living there with her partner just because she is female, she is the one that has to make things right whether that be as a couple or as a single parent.

She has given no reasons or further details as to why she had this EA so I can only go on what she has written.

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 12:07:27

No she has no right to continue to carry on living with her partner but she has every right to carry on living with her children and unfortunately as main carer that needs to be in the family home.

As I said before its not a gender thing afaic it's a Main Carer issue.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 12:12:14

If she leaves then she will need to work to pay for herself and her children which would put her in the same position as her XP so the role of main carer would change.

The advice I received on here when I was going through what the OP's partner is going through was so very very different. It helped me so much and gave me the courage to throw him out and assure me it wasn't my fault. I find it very difficult to read some of what has been said on here. Not by you silver I hasten to add!

Spirulina Sun 03-Nov-13 12:12:33

gosh what's being married, or not,got to do with anything??

I mention court cos this is generally how these things go.... This is already messy and acrimonious. At this early stage

And people DO manage 50/50 AND work you know

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 03-Nov-13 12:26:33

Actually ItsOkay as a mother with children under the age of 5, OP would not have to work. She would be able to claim Income Support until her youngest child is 5. So she could continue to be main carer until her youngest is at school, if that's how she wants to do it.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 12:30:04

So would the father be able to give up work and claim IS? He may think about that.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 12:30:47

I'm really not trying to be awkward, I'm just challenging the way that people assume the mother must be the RP.

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 12:33:06

I don't think anyone is saying she must be the RP are they? I certainly am not. They are just posting with the information given that at the moment she is.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 12:49:29

That is definitely what I am getting from the subtext to a lot of posts.

I wish the OP would come back and let us know how she is. It does sound like she wants out of her relationship and fair enough if that's the case.

My reason for contributing to this thread was to counter the assumption that the OP's partner should leave and that he was overreacting.

The OP hasn't given enough information for anyone to decide what the best thing to do is. We all agree that the DCs come first and that should be the starting point.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 03-Nov-13 13:33:51


No, the Father wouldn't be able to give up work and claim IS. They'd want a bloody good reason why he's given up work! And I'm pretty certain that if he said he'd given up work to be the main carer for his kids, there would be lots of questions asked about the mother and her situation.

olgaga Sun 03-Nov-13 13:57:45

Haedly surprising OP hasn't been back. I imagine she's getting the help and accurate advice she needs through PMs.

olgaga Sun 03-Nov-13 13:58:04


ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 14:11:42

I would think (but I don't know) that giving up work as he has become a LP (due to the OP's behaviour making their relationship untenable) would be a good enough reason to be eligible for such a claim.

The OP already works 3 nights a week, who looks after the children then? Why should she be allowed to continue with her life as if nothing has changed and the father loses everything?

As I said before, I am just trying to counter the assumption that the mother has the right to live with the DCs. I do not know enough this situation to claim I am right, I am just listing possibilities.

Spirulina Sun 03-Nov-13 14:37:22

So we are now encouraging the op to go

Spirulina Sun 03-Nov-13 14:37:45

On benefits?

Not good for anyone

Lweji Sun 03-Nov-13 14:39:02

I think this should be considered as any other split, for whatever reason.
Who takes care of the children should have them, the other person could choose to leave. Or they both leave to separate houses.

Not that I think the OP is reading anymore.

YesIveNameChanged Sun 03-Nov-13 18:20:58

I am am still here, as you can probably appreciate it has been a hard couple of days.

I haven't had chance to read all the replies, but I will endeavour to do so this evening and answer / reply accordingly.

Vivacia Sun 03-Nov-13 19:04:18

I do hope that you're all starting to see your way through this YINC.

olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 21:58:20

HotDogSlaughter "He is being fucking ridiculous actually, and extremely selfish....It sounds like he wants out and is using this very minor indiscresion as an excuse."

Brilliant evaluation....considering she had almost no relevant information, whilst of course choosing to ignore completely the fact that the OP herself said "I've been having an emotional affair for the past few months....with someone I have a history with", and admits that she has "...screwed up massively". We should all remember this next time a woman complains of her husband's/partner's emotional affair - its just a 'minor'.

I have no idea what her own hang ups are but HotDogSlaughter is clearly just here to project them rather than help the OP. People like her are dangerous in the sense that they will go to any lengths to convince you (i.e. typically women) that nothing is really your fault or within your power, and that your bad decisions are really down to other people... even when YOU yourself are quite prepared to acknowledge that it is your fault (as is the case with the OP, much to her credit).

HotDogSlaughter Sun 03-Nov-13 22:19:13

What a load of nonsense " people like her are dangerous" hmm because I propose a different point of view? So threatened about something - maybe your OWN hang up?

Of course the op has betrayed her partner to a degree, but his reaction is off the scale and from what I read there is more going on with him. He is punishing her in a way that doesn't fit the "crime". It's all speculative and I never proclaimed to know all the definitive answers. But I speak from some life experience.

Good luck op!

olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 22:41:13


There's a difference between offering a different viewpoint, and just plain making things up out of thin air. For example:

"...The DP is not thinking of his children...." - How do you know this? How do you know he hasn't decided that he can longer trust the OP, and that it would be best long term for them to split? Would you dare to suggest on here that a woman who wanted to leave after her husband's EA was 'being selfish and not thinking of her children'?

"He is being selfish and totally childish to tell op she is dead to him after a few emotional exchanges with another guy which may be down to problems within the marriage anyway." - To say she is dead to him is certainly dramatic, but he might well hate her that much for what she has done, and your attempt to blame the OP's behaviour on some 'problems' in the marriage is just plain pathetic, seeing as the Op herself hasn't even resorted to this.

"...he needs to grow up and think about the consequences for the poor children" - ....Which ironically enough is what the OP failed to do. If he doesn't want to be with her anymore, are you honestly saying he should suck it up for the sake of the children?

It's just past Halloween, but something intellectually dishonest this way comes....

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 22:44:05

"Something intellectually dishonest this way comes"


sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 22:45:47

"Are you honestly saying he should suck it up for the sake of the children?"


olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 22:52:51

sparklysilversequins - ...You're not a Relate counsellor by any chance are you?

OrmirianResurgam Sun 03-Nov-13 22:59:29

Jeez! [Shock] wtf?

If I had read some of these responses when I posted about my H's affair I'd have been finished! I have read blame-shifting (there must have been something wrong for OP to cheat), minimising (it was just a few conversations), total lack of empathy (expecting him to be utterly calm and rational when he found out - I sure as hell wasn't!)

OP, as has been pointed out he can't take the children away from you. It was almost certainly said in the heat of the moment to hurt you. Childish? Yep, but forgivable I would suggest. Give the poor bastard a break!

olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:01:49

Intellectually dishonesty - You know, putting a proposition forward just to support an agenda, even though there is nothing to support the proposition (e.g. suggesting that there are 'problems' in the relationship so as to minimise the OP's behaviour, even though the OP herself suggested no such thing).

Just thought I'd help you out sparklysilversequins. No need to thank me, I like being helpful wink

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 23:06:03


olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:07:06

OrmirianResurgam ... spot on. The world is all about opinions are, but for the sake of fairness and credibility, it's important that people (...they know who they are) who practice this kind of insidious double-standard are quite frankly called out on their sh*t.

olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:10:34

sparklysilversequins... Oh good. We can all sleep soundly now.

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 23:12:33

You don't seem very helpful Ola. You haven't actually offered the OP any decent advice at all. Just picked apart other posts that you don't agree with. What do YOU actually think about her dilemma?

olathelawyer05 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:22:44

sparklysilversequins "...You don't seem very helpful Ola. You haven't actually offered the OP any decent advice at all. Just picked apart other posts that you don't agree with. What do YOU actually think about her dilemma?"

On the contrary... I have helped the OP by pointing out the kind of advice she should NOT be taking from the discussion, and why she shouldn't be taking it.

The OP hasn't really given that much information, and so there is little real practical advise I can offer. I have therefore kept my mouth shut to her (save that I commended her for being honest about her own culpability).

sparklysilversequins Sun 03-Nov-13 23:30:59

Your posts across the board are all very similar in flavour Ola so I am afraid I will have to reserve my judgement on your intentions while posting on this thread smile.

Abbykins1 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:38:17

You have mentioned you are not particularly bothered about the break up with your current DP,does that mean does that mean the EA is likely to blossom in to something a bit more meaningful?

GruffalosGirl Mon 04-Nov-13 00:13:27

The reason for the breakdown of the relationship is irrelevant. If a couple with children split the children should always stay in the family home and their main carer should always stay with them (unless there's a safety issue)

It may be particularly crappy for him in this situation but anything else is punishing the kids cause he's hurting.

Suggesting that he becomes the new main carer ignores the fact that he is not currently their main carer and that would add confusion and distress to them at an already confusing time. That would not be in the children's best interest.

littlemisstwinset Mon 04-Nov-13 01:58:26

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

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 07:40:45

Ahem, an emotional affair means there was no sex... Just saying.

I have never been unfaithful, or had EAs, and I still think the OP isn't a bad parent. Bad wife, but not bad parent.
Yes, it's crap for the other partner, but the children's main carer should continue to be their main carer, or at the very least 50-50.
It's up for the couple to decide, but the OP should never be bullied into leaving her children over this. It sounds very 18th century.

olgaga Mon 04-Nov-13 07:55:51

Why do people keep groaning on about fault, blame and punishment?

The number one issue here is the welfare of the children. Their needs come first.

Their needs are not addressed by "punishing" their main carer and throwing her out of their home!

This is one of the most vitriolic and misinformed threads I have seen on here. It's very sad to see this point-scoring and pursuit of personal agendas on a forum where people post looking for help, advice and support.

Spirulina Mon 04-Nov-13 08:02:52

The op has previous 'history' with this man

She is now engaging with him again.... So far it's just an 'emotional affair' .... So far

She states she isn't too bothered that her relationship has broken down

So.... Her DP should move out and leave her in the house he's worked hard for, with the kids he loves. With the new man on the scene.... Hmmm

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 08:07:07

I fully refer to Olgaga's post.

And mention the 18th century again.

We don't know what the history is and as for a new man, it could happen with either partner regardless of what happened during the marriage.

QuintesKabooom Mon 04-Nov-13 08:17:47


Wow. Just wow.

A lot of mumsnetters thinking with "their dick" this morning.

Indeed, indeed Spirulina.

Who is looking after the children the three evenings you work?

So, out of 5 working days, you look after them 5 days he works, and he looks after them the 3 evenings you work, and you share care for 2 days?

OP you will need to work and, possibly full time, once you split, so no reason why you should not go 50-50 on shared custody.

No reason why your dp should lose his children because you are thinking with your Vag.

sparklysilversequins Mon 04-Nov-13 08:21:51

I've certainly experienced this kind of behaviour but done to me not by me.

As for the rest of your post littlemisstwinset what a lot of hysterical nonsense.

I note that you've either name changed or joined MN specifically to post that. I don't know whether to be flattered or concerned wink.

Moreisnnogedag Mon 04-Nov-13 08:26:32

I feel so sorry for the husband here. His wife has an EA, he finds out and is judged by his immediate reaction, when his world is falling apart. How many women have posted that they regret the things they said in the early days of finding out about their husbands affair? But suddenly this man should up sticks and not see his dc because his wife had an affair??

For those who think that this is just minor and his reaction is out of proportion, who do you think you are? If my DH had an affair, sexual or emotional wouldn't make a difference to me. I'd feel pretty betrayed and be wanting him to leave pretty damn sharpish. I'd bet that no-one would judge me for it.

OP it seems you don't care about your DH anymore. Look at 50/50 residency and try and get out of this mess as peacefully as you can.

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 08:51:46

Have people been drinking?

The OP never suggested her still partner should lose the children.
He did say he's keeping them. hmm

Children are not pawns to punish the respective partners. Whatever happens should have the best for the children in mind. And unfaithfulness is not on the definition of bad parenting.

Furthermore, an EA means there are likely to be emotions involved. It's not fair to say the op is thinking with her vagina (I'd say clitoris) without knowing what exactly happened.

fromparistoberlin Mon 04-Nov-13 09:05:28

everything needs to calm down a bit

right now he is FUMING and wants to hurt you

all you can do right now is keep your head down , apologise and care for your DC

as others have said, the courts decide on whats best for the DC, not on who cheated!!!!

I think you need to allow him to vent his anger, and let things run their course for a few weeks

OP its also worth having counselling to explore why you did this? in time this will pass . but its worth exploring WHY you did it so you dont do it again

alot of people will send very snippy nasty posts, but try and focus on practical issues

must be really shitty for everyone , sympathies,,,

QuintesKabooom Mon 04-Nov-13 09:28:20

He wants to hurt you op, as much as you have hurt him.

His reactions are knee jerk. Yours have been deliberate, and over time.

Give him a break.

Greensleeves Mon 04-Nov-13 09:41:25

No he won't get custody of the children just because you were the one who cheated, it doesn't work like that. The children's welfare is paramount and you're their mother, they're very young so the obvious scenario is that you and they stay in the family home. The court won't take your dp's angry hurt feelings into account.

I can understand why he has threatened it though. Because you couldn't control yourself, he stands to lose his home and his children. That sucks. But it's better for the children (probably, I don't know you) so he'll have to lump it.

Tip for the future - finish the relationship you are in before embarking on another one. You're an adult and a parent, you can't just please yourself.

OrmirianResurgam Mon 04-Nov-13 09:44:53

What greensleeves said.

He will calm down. I hope you will be able to talk sensibly. I told my H I was so angry I could kill him. I am guessing he didn't take me seriously. I don't think you should either. But please be sympathetic to his pain.

Lazyjaney Mon 04-Nov-13 10:05:18

"If a couple with children split the children should always stay in the family home and their main carer should always stay with them (unless there's a safety issue)"

IMO no one in the DPs position with an ounce of self respect and love for their kids is going to put up with that outcome without a hell of a fight.

Also IMO, a lot of people on here need to put themselves into the DPs position (and maybe think hes a woman, to see it without bias), think about what they would do, and then re think their advice.

sparklysilversequins Mon 04-Nov-13 10:09:58

So should the main carer leave then and leave the dc as has been said on here?

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 04-Nov-13 10:57:18

No matter what fuck ups the grown ups have visited upon themselves the priority in any split is the welfare of the children.

Anything else is punishment of the wrongdoer. How does that help the kids ?

HotDogSlaughter Mon 04-Nov-13 13:58:42

I would say exactly the same to a woman!

An emotional affair with no physicality involved is no cause to leave children and proclaim your partner metaphorically dead.

Branleuse Mon 04-Nov-13 14:08:15

you reckon??

Id be much more upset over an emotional affair than i would over physical sex.

I also dont see why moving out with children is supposedly so damaging to children.

Ive moved with my children several times.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Mon 04-Nov-13 14:14:02

HotDog - Different people react differently. For some people, a one night stand could be forgiven but not something that was emotional. Personally, if I had an OH and I found loads of messages they'd been sending to someone they had history with (presumably ex-lover, ex-partner), I'm afraid either they'd be out on their ear or I'd walk away. Because I believe in trust and once that's gone, I can't get it back.

Yes, that would break up the family unit, but I wouldn't be happy and that's not good for the children.

Lazyjaney Mon 04-Nov-13 14:22:49

"I would say exactly the same to a woman!"

Interesting how everyone claims that, and yet reverse threads are always totally different in tone.

ItsOkayItsJustMyDeathFucker Mon 04-Nov-13 14:52:09

I completely agree Lazyjaney.

The family dynamics are going to change if they decide to separate and who's to say the father shouldn't be the main carer? Why would that be damaging to the children? The OP hasn't made claims of him being a bad father at all and she hasn't mentioned abuse.

He is their father and is just as capable of raising his children as she is.

HotDog your posts have brought tears to my eyes, how dare you assume that an EA is a "minor indiscresion" (sic) and that "He is being fucking ridiculous actually, and extremely selfish."

I hope you manage to be a bit more sympathetic in RL.

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 15:50:08

But why should he begin to be the main carer if he's been happy for her to until now? To the point that she works evenings to work around his schedule?

Just to spite her and keep the children?

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 15:52:40

The proposal that he could have the children during the evenings and she would care for them during most days did make sense.
However, that would mean CSA-wise that she would have to pay maintenance, when she would be doing free childcare. Not fair at all.

sparklysilversequins Mon 04-Nov-13 16:06:37

"Just to spite her and keep the children"

Well yes obviously because punishing and shaming her for her EA is by far the most important thing here.

I am reminded of Victorian times when women would lose their children if they left a marriage. Not quite so severe obviously but certainly in the same ball park.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 04-Nov-13 16:12:33

Surely completely changing what is actually the norm for the dc just to make a point is wrong ?

The woman here, in this situation, is the main carer. In other situations it may be different. But we are talking about this one

I don't understand why people deliberately go off on tangents and start talking about scenarios that don't even apply to the OP. It's less than helpful, really. Why not use your considerable power of thought and reasoning to help the op work out what is best in this precise situation ?

fifi669 Mon 04-Nov-13 16:42:16

Anything is going to be a change for the DCs at this point, moving out, not living with their mum, not living with their dad.... It may not be nice to think (esp as mothers we think ourselves invaluable) but children adapt far easier than we give them credit. Give it a couple of weeks and the 3 year old will be settled with its dad as the primary care giver.

Personally I think if you are the wrong doer you leave. You tell DP you'll sort out somewhere to live and when you have, share residency 50:50. You can even have it written as part of a separation agreement. They are his children as much as yours.

sparklysilversequins Mon 04-Nov-13 16:44:43

But WHY should the three year old be settled in with Dad as primary carer? Why? To punish the OP for daring to step out of the relationship. That's why.

I was cheated on, my marriage ended because of it. One of his affairs was when I was 8 months pregnant. Yes there was more than one. Numerous in fact.

Never once did I say to him I am keeping the dc, not one time. Because the parental relationship he has with them was irrelevant to the affair. Yes I told him that he'd been a shit for acting in such a way that it was untenable for us all to live together full time, but I didn't feel particularly overwhelmed by it and I didn't see it as the worst possible thing that could happen, because there is more than one way to be a family and I do not personally feel that my children are disadvantaged because we don't all live in the same house. He phones once usually twice a day. Skype is always open here and at his work so my dc speak to him whenever they want to and I am very relaxed about when he comes to see them. They probably speak to him more now than when he lived here.

I simply do not believe that a person behaving badly in a relationship bears any relevance to their role as a parent. It makes them a selfish arse but not a bad parent.

I also think anyone who uses children as a threat in the first instance and then continues to do so probably has abusive tendencies anyway.

I disagree wholeheartedly that a person having an affair has destroyed A Family, it's only the relationship. They cheated on you not your children.

I also think that the majority of the shock and horror of parents splitting is brought on by how the parents handle it, usually with the big dramatic sit down altogether so often demanded here on MN and supposedly the best thing so the dc Know Where They Stand. Bullshit it's so the cheated on partner can have their Poor Me moment. Does any child need to hear that Mummy/Daddy is leaving US for someone else? No they're leaving YOU, the other adult. Every person I know with divorced parents has said that conversation was the absolute worst thing about the split.

Affairs are selfish and shit for the Adults concerned but children below a certain age, certainly in this case don't need to know about it or suffer for it.

I am not coming back to this thread because the OP isn't so its not like its supportive anymore and it's just going round in circles.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 04-Nov-13 16:55:08

Well said, sparkly. The fact that you can sound so fair and clear when you were the "injured" party says an awful lot about you, and all of it good

Dahlen Mon 04-Nov-13 16:57:38

There are lots of people out there who make enormous self sacrifices in the event of a split in order to make things as stable as possible for the children. It has nothing to do with self-respect and everything to do with love for the children and a sense of responsibility towards them. Being fair to the children is not always the same thing as fair to the other person in the STBX relationship.

There may be lots of men out there who refuse to pay the mortgage when forced to leave the family home, or who refuse to pay maintenance, etc., but there are also plenty who happily pay move out and pay maintenance because shock they love their children however much they hate their X and often in spite of an affair. shock I refuse to believe that the only men who do this are weak, indecisive losers with no self respect. I'd say they were real men in fact.

Spirulina Mon 04-Nov-13 17:03:21

Doesn't sound like this 'affair' is over..... Op has previous history with this man too.

And people referring to 'custody'..... It doesn't exist anymore, so makes me wonder if they know what they are actually talking about??

PukingCat Mon 04-Nov-13 17:29:04

I wouldn't take what he is saying at the moment too seriously op. He's just found out that you are having an affair. He'll be devastated, of course he's going to lash out and say hurtful stuff.

Hopefully once the shock wears off a bit you'll be able to talk more reasonably.

I don't think anyone could be blamed for acting horribly in these circumstances. Im sure a lot of women on here who find out they've been cheated on react strongly and say stuff they wouldn't normally as well.

fromparistoberlin Tue 05-Nov-13 11:42:12

i agree with what spakley said, 1000%, sensible woman!

people are human and men and women fuck up and have affairs every day

also OP has not come back, so we are just chatting amongt ourselves now!! hope she sOK

Lazyjaney Tue 05-Nov-13 16:12:39

"people are human and men and women fuck up and have affairs every day"

Too true.

However, the cheated-on party seldom takes it well, so it's wishful thinking to believe it would happen here.

I can't wait to re-quote quite a few posters' comments from here when next they opine on reverse threads to this. Of course, they will argue the situation is completely different grin

fromparistoberlin Tue 05-Nov-13 17:02:50

I was not defending her!!! But I strongly agree that the "moral right and wrongs" of infidelity should not define parental rights thats all

I think its disgusting that many men only get "every other weekend", but I was really agreeing with sparkey and her message (and she was cheated on!)

please dont think I am defending cheaters. but in parallel being a cheat does not take away parental rights

and I dont like how the cheating men get treated on this issue either, I have read a few times "he fucked up the family, no he cant see his kids" its not on really

Lweji Tue 05-Nov-13 17:11:10

I used to have lengthy discussions about this with my ex-MIL.
According to her, she wouldn't have let her husband see the children. Odd, as she only had 4 sons! She was apparently happy for them to be punished by not seeing their own children.

ExH was worse than having cheated on me, and I still encourage DS to have contact with his dad.

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