Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
what nice things do you do together?(77 Posts)
DP has cheated. Had an affair with older woman. Says we don't do anything nice together any more (DD is 8 months old....yes I know he has been totally selfish and treated me appallingly). Anyway he wants to come home and work through it. We have decided to devote more time to each other and get a babysitter etc.
What things do couples do together to rekindle the romance? Anyone in any successful relationships with some advice? Thanks
So he's been off shagging OW then shifts blame onto you as well.
Let me ask this, what was stopping him from organising some nice time out together/hiring a babysitter after your DD was born?
A successful relationship is based on mutual trust and commitment, and sometimes you have to put your own needs second over those of family. Where's his?
Rekindling romance is not your priority. Somebody should be working fucking hard to regain your trust by being 100% transparent about his actions and making it up to you. Not by flashy presents and grand gestures, but repeated and consistent care and reliability.
Agree with above posters tbh.
But what "we" do nice together:
Days out and about
Is your DH on an equivalent forum asking the same questions or, like his decision to screw other people, is clearing up his mess all your responsibility as well? Don't sell yourself short OP.
Ok, if we're writing lists, "nice" things we do together:
Don't lie to, or betray, each other.
Don't lie about who we are with or where we are.
Don't put our time and energy in to a relationship with someone else.
Don't laugh about each other behind their back.
Don't have sex with other people.
Don't become emotionally intimate with others people.
Don't spend family time having an affair.
Don't spend family money having an affair.
Thank you all, I know all these things but do love him so so much and want things to work out. I feel like we should at least try then see how things go. Financially he is very supportive and works hard for us. Obviously I realise that late nights at work have been late nights shagging her. I think we have both lost ourselves somewhere along the line and are both lonely.
If you really want things to work out - and this is going to sound counter-intuitive - you have to put the ball very, very firmly in his court and stop blaming yourself for his decision. You have not 'lost yourself' ... he chose to treat you with supreme disrespect. Until you have self-respect he will not respect you and he will not respect you if you go the man-pleasing self-reproach route
Really sorry you're going through this.
What happened was in no way your fault.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
OP how has your husband agreed to try to make things work out? There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you're doing, but many of us will be concerned that the effort is all coming from one side.
I know its not my fault and told him that he has a problem but maybe some part of me does blame myself a little. I have told him it is up to him to change his behaviour and he said he knows this. I have agreed for him to come back on my terms but how do I do thus without forcing this on him? (We had trial separation and after a week he came back)
OP I have agreed for him to come back on my terms but how do I do thus without forcing this on him?
I think you have to enforce your terms.
But we all do that. We all have boundaries and expectations. I know what my partner's are, and he knows what mine are. Furthermore, we both know what happens if we don't meet those expectations or step over a boundary. I think that's normal and healthy and keeps us both safe and secure.
My thoughts just on reading are...
A week isn't very long for a trial separation.
He's pushing the blame on to you. You don't do enough together so he had to shag someone else? Really? How about he just talked to you about it.
He wants to work it through. What do you want? You've only been apart for a week. What are your terms? Because it has to be on your terms. He's broken your trust. It's all too easy for him just to waltz back in after a week and think 'great, that was easy'. Especially if he knows you want to work it out. He doesn't have to try, life goes on as normal.
Yes thanks Logg1e we need to set expectations and boundaries. He said he is prepared to change phone number etc. She works for him and he said she could sue if he sacks her but she will probably leave of her own accord as she is peed off that he has not left me. I said tough she needs to be gone and completely cut out of his life. So there are things he is doing but he definitely needs to make it up to me. I feel stronger after the separation as although the first three days were hell I came to realise I can live without him!
I think that you need to set your terms (although I'm not sure about illegal ones involving her being sacked!).
Yes you're right. We have both agreed that we don't want it to go back to how it was before as we were both lonely. He said I had have been ' closed off' yet he was always working/ shagging her. Even at the weekend he plays rugby then works from home. I need to lay down the law more, I realise that now.
Right OP, listen up. I think you should tell us a little bit more about the details, especially time frames. I think you should spend the rest of the week reading what people have to think and testing each and every one of your beliefs about affairs. I have found MN to have the most refreshing, no nonsense, enlightened insight in to affairs. Then, at the end of the week I would be prepared to make some different decisions to those you already feel you may have committed yourself to.
Ok so we have been together 5 years, not married but bought house last spring. I had baby in July. Affair started in September. In February he went away with work, she went with him. I found emails on phone, nothing to suggest they were having an affair, and thought oh he has gone away with a woman and didn't want to tell me in case I was funny about it. Thats when he admitted it. So it has been 4 weeks really since it all came out.
He has own business and there has been a lot of pressure on our relationship, buying house, baby etc last year. She is 11 years older (but lied about her age). He always said that he wants mire children, but she is past that age so it seems absurd to leave me for her, but there we go. By the way his dad had string of affairs when he was growing up and it tore family apart so there are deeper issues going on.
So anyway he left on my suggestion that he go and sort his head out and of course ended up shagging her again but then came back full of regret. I ssid go off and be with her but he says he doesn't want to leave me. So thats it basically!
So how do you know it's actually over?
His attitude towards you is appalling, you need to be 100% sure that he really does want to give it a proper go with you, it's not sounding good. If he wanted to improve the relationship HE should've suggested things you can do together BEFORE he decided to go off and shag someone else. You cannot possibly trust him now, it's broken. Sorry but he's the one who should be falling over himself to please you and show you that he does actually regret what he's done, it doesn't sound anything like it.
Oh OP there is so much there. I do hope you get support here and that you find it helpful.
My thoughts are:
- This is very, very early days.
- Draw your attention away from this woman. I know you haven't been calling her names, but stop thinking about her lying about her age orher being mad that he hasn't left you for her. She's not the one who has wronged you and I bet if it were possible for you two to talk you'd find out that she has been lied to as much as you and is in fact a very reasonable person herself.
- You haven't had time to digest this. I really think that you need time and space to get your head around this. I agree completely with the standard MN advice - he has to leave the family home (and for longer than a week!!). This is not to punish him. This is to give you the opportunity to have a good think about what you want to happen next. Remember he has month's worth of knowledge that you haven't even thought about yet.
- Who have you told in real life?
"So anyway he left on my suggestion that he go and sort his head out and of course ended up shagging her again but then came back full of regret"
You mean crocodile tears, don't you? Someone said up-thread that a week was in no way a trial separation and they're quite right. He used his week as a kind of shagging mini-break, picked up where he left off, they're still going to be working together and his life hasn't changed one iota. You've given him no real conditions for returning and he doesn't seem to be making much of an effort.
He's giving it a few weeks for the dust to settle and then he'll be back in the saddle.... And I'm very sorry you're not married because I think you're going to suffer quite a lot of this in future and you'll end up with him walking away and you having nothing.
OP it gets worse!
So he left and went and shagged her? But now he conveniently doesn't want to leave.
What about what you want? It seems like everything is on his terms. He only left for a week OP and he still didn't keep away from her!
Does he really want to be with you? Or does he actually want to be with her but she's too old to have kids?
I think he's in control here and you are tolerating a lot.
You write a lot about him wanting to come back, him wanting to stay. Well who gives a fuck what he wants. What you want is the most important thing here. I don't think you've given it enough time. Are you angry with him?
I know its over because she turned up at our house and threw a load of his stuff at him then stormed off.
I have told two close friends who have both said he's mad, he's having a breakdown, stress of new baby has driven him away and that he will come back to me, that its not over.
Everything you have said rings true. I think I am scared that he is not trying hard enough to convince me this is what he wants.
He couldn't even keep away for a week so I agree with another poster who said how do you know it's really over?
You need to chuck him out for more than a week OP. It's too easy otherwise.
There are lots of couples who don't spend a lot of time together. It doesn't mean one of them sees it as a green light to shag someone else.
And yes I am angry at him but also worried about his state of mind. I want him to stay but only if his heart is really in it
Oh please.... you think she's the only fish in the sea? So he's lost this one and is back for now. But there are plenty of other women in plenty of other business venues and commercial hotels etc. and men like your DP really aren't all that fussy.
Your friends mean well but all they missed off that ridiculous list of excuses was 'boys will be boys' and 'mid-life crisis'.... Don't let them lower your standards.
For a start I don't think you should be the one coming up with 'nice things to do together'.
If you've chosen to stay with him he should feel so priviliged and lucky he should have enough 'nice things' for you two to do for the next five years. He should be putting the effort in now...
Him blaming you stinks btw. He could've communicated how he felt instead of shagging an ow
She turned up at your place and threw his stuff at him, you don't do that unless you still have feelings, still doesn't mean it's over.
There's just not enough convincing from his side that he is truly committed to you.
You are worried about his state of mind, what about yours?
Still no excuse for what he has done, what happens next time he's not feeling himself?
Can't help but think you're accepting the boobie prize here.
OP don't be scared. You have more options than staying a man who treats you like this or being alone. Far more.
Whose name is the house in? In fact, once he's off on his trial separation I think you need some legal advice. That's not to say you'll act on it, but it's useful to have just in case.
Just read the last bit if thread (sorry- annoying I know)....
Op, he sounds like a total piss taker. Baby born July, affair started in sept????????
That, right there, is what the man thinks of you. Sorry, but he is a disrespectful cunt.
Also, sorry this is personal, but have you been had sex with him in the last 8 months?
OP I just wanted to say I'm sorry that you're going through this - and to agree with others in saying that he's not worthy of your worry 'about his state of mind' and of you trying to think of 'nice things for you to do together'.
He started having an affair two months after you had given birth to his baby?
You and your DC deserve so, so much better than this sad little excuse for a man. I suspect that once you get over the shock and desperate panic to try and make things work, you will realise that.
The 'state of mind' thing is what every woman I know has said when their partner has cheated/been caught cheating. In every case it turns out that there is nothing at all wrong with their state of mind, they are in fact just behaving selfishly and like a cold hearted twat.
Here's a list of nice things he can organise for you to do together to show he cares for you and wants to win you back. We do/have done all of these together:
Book theatre tickets
Go to a gig for a favourite band
Go to local room in a pub style comedy improve nights
Go to mainstream comedy
Have a night away somewhere not too far away but really romantic
Sneak off for lunch together while DC are at school/childminders
Go to an art gallery
Go for a stroll and a smooch round gorgeous gardens like Wisley or Eden project.
Restaurants that do food small children hate so you never cook it at home anymore.
Does he know how clichéd it is that narcissistic immature men run off in the first year after the baby is born because the attention is no longer on them and because their wife is exhausted?
Here are some things he can do for you, so that you can recoup enough energy to decide whether you want him or not.
Buy a really good ready meal or take out and a comic film or box set once a week so you can have a good night in and laugh together.
Bring you flowers.
Buy you a facial/pedicure/manicure/flotation/massage/haircut
Also important is to have fun as a family together.
Go out for Sunday lunch as a family to a pub or restaurant.
Go for walks in the park or a boat ride down a river. Or to an outdoor film or concert. Nothing too much like hard work, just fun stuff that's easy to organise.
Buy a bike for him with a seat on the back for baby then go out for a ride together. That way you get a break from being the one who is always first to check on the baby, and he bonds with her more.
FWIW I think it is a great idea to forgive him and give it another go, so long as it's on your terms. He really needs to make a lot of effort to be a brilliant husband and father.
Op, you sound like a fixer. The thing is, you aren't the broken bit here and you can't fix it simply by creating an atmosphere conducive to harmony. I am talking from experience here. He has to be so sorry about this, so BITTERLY ASHAMED, he would walk on broken glass to undo the terrible wrong he has done your relationship. If this isn't the case, I'm so, so sorry, but I'm afraid it is likely to happen again. The fixing here needs to come from him.If it doesn't you are simply treading water until the next devastating revelation. Problems in a relationship come from both sides, but when the line of an affair is crossed the blame lies solely with that person. It's an individual choice to desecrate that trust. I really wish you weren't having to go throughout this.
If he really wants to be with you he needs to arrange somewhere to stay.
You date twice a week, no sex. He thinks of nice things for you to do.
You go to counselling.
He stops either rugby or weekend working, because one of the days he will be seeing your daughter. He will need to do this regardless, as that is what would happen if you split.
You speak to a solicitor to find out your position.
Ok, have you had an STI check?
Is it over because she ended it? Or because he wants it to be? Two very different things.
Is he back with you because she ended it? Don't be the consolation prize.
You want his heart to be in it. Again, you're talking about him and not you OP.
A lot of men get stressed, baby's are hard work, it's not an excuse to have an affair.
What is he doing to show you he wants to make it work? What are his actions (not words)? Why are you having to come up with a list? It's not your job.
I'll say it again. You need longer than a week. A week is not a trial separation.
(Apologies if you've answered half of this OP, I've been sat on the tube).
In response to logg1e, yes we have had sex. Things were fine ( I thought ) in that department. We have sex less than we used to because if baby and because I go to bed earlier and him later but still have sex once/twice a week.
Sorry, I wasn't being clear OP, in that case you will need to get checked for STDs.
OP, sorry this has happened. I hate the way when somebody asks for advice in mumsnet after an affair they are told to throw their partner out and never look back. Relationships CAN survive affairs, not all, but some can. I YOU want to try again then that is your choice. You don't have to justify it on here. I do agree you should go to counselling as a couple though. And he should be working out how to make this up to you. But if you've both been unhappy and the relationship needs work, it is fine for you to want to try and fix it. Good luck x
I used to feel very similar Oly when I first started reading on MN. Advice offered seemed very harsh and, I thought, unrealistic. Who would chuck out their partner of years on the say so of some strangers on the internet?
I realised that the advice is what is most likely to prevent heartache and pain in the long term. And just because it was harsh and the cheating partner should move it, the advice wasn't actually saying that the relationship should end. It was saying whether the relationship ends or you try again, this is the best way of achieving either.
I also realised that it was incredibly refreshing advice compared to the attitude I had been raised with and was used to from society in general. Refreshing and full of common sense.
Oly4: on here you get the truth, not some friend trying their best to let you down gently by saying one thing but really thinking another.
I doubt any one person on MN actually acts on the advice of a stranger.
Nice things we do together:
1. Have sex exclusively with each other
2. Avoid lying to each other
3. Stay faithful, physically and emotionally
4. Don't blame the other for something that was our fault
5. Put each other first
6. Keep our wedding vows
Are they things your husband is up for, do you reckon?
So, even if you become the perfect wife and provide sufficient entertainment for Dh what about next time. What about the next time you are pregnant or heaven help you were ill, does he stray again because his needs aren't being met.
You need to have a good think before you start changing your behaviour.
My relationship has survived an affair, two and a half years ago after ten years of marriage. We are really happy now, after a lot of work on his part, but now, knowing who he could have been, I look back on the years before and feel a bit sad. It feels like lost time when I was insecure and didn't really understand why. The reason was that I don't think he valued me/us sufficiently. The truth was, despite two children he was more invested in the idea of himself, than invested in the idea of us.The heartfelt commitment that is at the core of life-partnership was weak but I kept thinking that it was something I wasn't doing. Now, after nearly losing everything, he is like a different person and as a consequence I am finally happy. It is possible for things to get much better, but the changes have to be dramatic. Don't accept less than you deserve. I wish i'd figured this out earlier.
The affair was well and truly his fault, however if the decision has been made to stay together then it's both parties responsibility to make it work. You are absolutely doing the right thing.
The blame is his but to constantly make him prove himself will only result in an uneven relationship. Oh yes, he absolutely needs to work bloody hard but he needs to be happy too or it simply won't last.
Things we do together,
Watch tv but make sure we're talking the whole time, passing comments on what's on, discussing whether we like the show etc.
Make time for sex or just cuddling on the settee
Talk as much as we can, we try to make each other laugh
We go to comedy gigs and music gigs
We try to have a meal after the children have gone to bed sometimes. So it's just us.
Don't just get a bottle of wine, get some strawberries too.
I really do think communication is the key
Yes, I was only saying that I think some people base their responses on their own experiences where it didn't work out/he cheated again. So they say throw him out, don't put yourself through it. Totally understandable!!! But everybody's relationship is different. Like lilly3000 said above, they can survive, you have to figure out how and if that's what you want.. And you have to make sure you are both happy. This does not mean I think you should make it easy for him. You shouldn't, he shouldn't think he can do this again and just keep coming back!! He has to realise what he can lose. But if you want it to work it is fine to try!! That's all I'm saying
On an update OW has demanded a payout of £10,000 from his company to leave! She knows he/we cannot afford this. Its hardly like she was an innocent victim in all of this...I know for a fact she knew what she was getting herself into and lied about her age. She already gets money from her ex husband and is driving round in a convertible. £10,000 is totally unreasonable. What a mess.
Her ex husband who cheated on her by the way.
Financially he is very supportive and works hard for us.
I see this written a lot. Actually I think many are deluded when they say this. Just because men work hard in their career, doesn't mean they do so for their family. They might just be driven and enjoy their job and the rewards.
Do you think that if you and your baby didn't exist, your DH would work any less hard to make his business work?
Probably not. In fact its ironic that when baby was bornhe neefed someone to take some of the responsibilities so he could have paternity leave. That's when she came into the picture then they ended up working closely together.
But OP, whatever the OW has done; however scheming/manipulative she is makes no difference. Your H is the one who cheated on you.
There will always be women out there happy to sleep with a married man. Doesn't mean your H had to go along with it. Blaming the OW is an (understandable) red herring, but when did she ever vow to love and honour you above all others? He has to take full responsibility for what he's done.
So it's still going on, in one form or another.
You do need to target your anger at your DH though, not the ow so much. Your DH was the one who chose to cheat.
I know and he says he has accepted full responsibility and will change and its not me blah blah but doesn't stop me hating her any less. She is a deplorable person! I am left wondering how my life has ended up like this. I feel like I've been dragged into a horrible web of lies and deceit and don't even know how I feel now.
You're not alone OP help is here for you.
When's the next counselling appointment?
So what's he going to do about it all? And I mean him, not you. This is his mess.
I was thinking about the emails and the counselling, and I think he has to come clean to the counsellor too, who he has also lied to and, in a way, betrayed (or at least wasted her/his time).
What a mess
He is cutting her out of his business. We are going out once a week together. Sunday is exclusively family day with no working. Thats as far as we have got.
Logg1e I think you're confusing threads.
Yeah we haven't had counselling before but he has agreed to go and says he knows it's his problem and doesn't want to be like his dad (cheated and now lives in other end of country estranged from children)
She sounds like a nutter. But she is his nutter and now there's lots of cleaning up to be done. It isn't your mess - back away and let him sort it out. I understand you loathe her. In my case the OW was older too and I hated her with a fury. I don't know why, but this somehow makes it worse, as if they should know better or something. If you are betrayed for someone younger and more gullible then that's easier to understand. Most people will tell you to focus your anger at him and not her, and they are absolutely right. Still, you can't help your feelings. The only thing that will make the resentment pass is time. Impossible as it might sound right now, one day you will end up feeling pity for her. She has been rejected, embarrassed publicly and now is going to lose her job. Not exactly a winning strategy.
I think you're right pobble. Apologies OP.
So what happens the next time he gets a bit stressed? He goes off and shags someone else?
How ironic he doesn't want to end up like his Dad, yet he already has.
Did you get checked for STIs?
If you want to stay with him, the you should go to counselling.
Lilly3000 did you take your man back?
I would imagine I'd be far more furious at my man than the OW, she owes me nothing, he does.
Think it's easier to blame the OW cos it moves the anger from him onto her so it's easier to manage maybe.
OP yes, I did. It has been a very difficult road but I'm glad that we got through it. It highlighted lots of weaknesses in him that he was't prepared to look at before, weaknesses that I'd made excuses for. Jan45 I think 'imagine' is the point. We all think that we will behave in a particular way when crisis occurs. Until it does we can't know. I understand your point from a logical standpoint, but I actually felt that she was threatening our family unit. It was a bit like innocently leaving the door open and being robbed blind. Of course, in my case the burglar was invited in by my DH ;) Still, being a burglar is nevertheless crap and dishonest and it made me want to kick her arse.
Fair enough Lilly, can totally see that.
Right op, I think your 'd'p needs to get tough.
Demanding £10,000 to leave the company is blackmail, and should be reported to the police.
Lying about your age on a job application is normally gross misconduct.
He should act on it and sack her for this. Hopefully, it's written in the contracts of employment that falsifying information on a job application is grounds for instant dismissal. It could be construed as obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception.
Go on long walks together
Sit on a sofa, tv off, sharing a bottle of wine and talking
reading side by side
Doing the crossword
Playing board games
Going out for supper without DD
We sound rather dull
My idea of doing nice things together is being given the me time to do nice things on my own.
If it is your partner/Husband's own company she is asking for money from, then I hope he has big pockets, because once a cheater...He will no doubt be looking around for a replacement, who will no doubt want money herself from him when it all goes pear shape, when he once again waltzes back to you.
I'm a little puzzled with the obsession with her lying about her age. Your OH did not choose to sleep with her on the basis of her age, he did so because he wanted to.
I get why you are angry at her but it is so misplaced. Your OH is in the driving seat here, while you do the pick me dance and I see no incentive for him to change.
Please think very carefully about the route you choose as I can see a lot of heartache ahead for you.
Read up until this bit:
"stress of new baby has driven him away"
and then got too annoyed to read the rest. Six weeks to two months of a new baby and his "stress" led him to go on a shagathon with a work colleague? What about you? Where's your responsibility-free sex holiday whilst someone else keeps your house and minds your baby? Oh, that's right, you didn't expect one because you're a grown up.
I'm not saying don't forgive him, that's up to you, but I would be giving any friend who put that forward as an excuse for his shocking behaviour. And if I was minded to forgive him, I would be very clear about which of you should be making lists of ways to rekindle trust and love (hint: REALLY NOT YOU).
Join the discussion
Please login first.