Supporting my wife(9 Posts)
Apologies for adding this particular thread but I believe my circumstances are a little unique and, as you'll read in a minute, my female perspectives are no longer there.
We've been together for ten years, married for 3. I've recently been discovered as having an 3 month affair with somebody at work. I make no excuses to what I have done to this family because of my actions and I am very aware of how my wife feels towards me and how I have affected her and our children's lives, forever too.
I had no idea how much this has affected my family. People often say heinsight is a valuable asset, and you never know what you had until it's gone. That's extremely true, I had no idea of my love for my wife or how perfect my wonderful little life bubble was.
Before the affair we were getting on ok. We were arguing a lot, not spending time together as we are both in full time careers, her self employed. We didn't really make each other happy, and I never really spent all the time with my children I could have. I didn't make an effort. I was in a horrible mindset, to stuck in my ego. I'm deeply regretful for that. She had decided to go on a break and I didn't object. I had an affair because it was easy, because I was longing affection and because I am just a (insert you own word). I liked the lady I was having an affair with, but in comparison to the love I have for my wife, which I never realised - it's like a grain of sand to a beach. Since she has found out, she hasn't kicked me out, as she doesn't want to make me homeless (testament to her amazing personality and nature) and she feels nothing has changed for me. I've tried to say that everything has and everything will.
I've spoken to her about trying again, begged even. Had panic attacks and anxiety. I can't sleep, I find eating a struggle. She has had all of these things too, and never asked for it. In my mind I'm trying to get back the most amazing woman I have ever met, we are like jigsaw pieces. In her mind, she's going to be taking back a cheat, someone who never paid any compliments or supported her at work, someone who didn't spend enough time with her kids and didn't make plans as a family. I'd do anything to get that back and I'm trying to prove I've changed.
Since this has come out, I can't talk to her friends, I can't talk to her mum (I was closer to her mum than mine truth be told) I don't really have any females close enough to discuss this with- hence this post.
I completely understand I made my bed. I get what I get. My mindset has changed, I'm a much better person now. I appreciate everything.
My question is however:
I go back to work on Monday (tomorrow) is there anything I can do to help the pain/hurt/anger she will be going through whilst I'm at work?
-I've written all my passwords, but then again why would she want to waste her time doing that.
-I'm going to tell her a time I'll be home and be there then, without fail.
-Should I text her during the day or not? (We talk at home, depending on her mood).
-I'm going to hand my notice in to leave.
Whilst I appreciate I do not deserve any help at all; I have put my family through the worst experience, I hope there is someone who can see how sorry I am, how strong I am willing to work and how much I love my wife and offer some advice.
Thank you in advance.
Does your wife want you to hand your notice in? I really don't think you should do that unless you already have another job lined up.
Hmm. Tough one.
I think all you can do is to accept that she will be furious with you most of the time.
Also I don't this this is really about 'supporting your wife', but about how you can win her back. I have no idea if you can. Give her time and space and let her decide for herself.
Thank you for your messages. I assumed as much.
Yes, in my profession there's always something else I can go into so won't ruin the chance of paying the mortgage, food clothes etc.
Yeah, I probably agree with you on the title, apologies for that. I just don't want to make it any worse-which is a bit late tbh.
Well to be honest it makes a refreshing change to hear that you have realised you were wrong and you do sound genuinly sorry, a lot aren't so sorry for the hurt caused.
As other pp said its a tough one! Have you told her exactly how you feel ? What you've come to realise since your mistake? She does sound like an amazingly lovely person so I do think it's time to give back to her for her kindness & understanding.
What does she want to happen? What are her views now? Giving up your work may seem like a solution but it's not simply removing g yourself from the ow's presence won't make her feel better she needs to be able to trust u to the core because to her there are millions of women around that may tempt you but she needs to feel she's the only one for you.
I'm not going to lie you've got your work cut out but if your determined and can allow her to vent her feelings whilst standing by her and basically taking it on the chin you may have a chance.
It's awfuk to hear things like this have to happen to make someone wake up to the fact that they had it all right there.
Not sounding harsh btw it's just sad, I hope you can fix it though I really do, first things first though what is her view point? On the relationship moving forward?
Best thing you can do is give her a quick and amicable divorce and let her get on with her life. Sorry, but your post smacks of you wallowing in self-pity and whilst you dress it up as you caring about her it's all very self-centered IMO. You try to justify why you cheated, try to minimise what it meant to you and have the gall to think it's now for you to stitch the emotional stab wounds that you've inflicted on her. Get over yourself.
Thank you for your messages. I do appreciate it very much. Honesty is indeed the best policy.
I'm sorry if it came across self-centred, that is certainly not how I wanted it to feel.
Things you can do:
- Ask her what she needs. Write it down. Don't ask again. And do it. Right away. If she's already told you things she needs, do them.
- Try and imagine what it might feel like to be in her shoes (you won't be able to, unless you've been through it, but trying might help you to empathise). I see a lot of you being worried about your position and how you feel, but not much about how she feels, how this has affected her. You seem regretful and worried about what this means for your marriage, but I don't read any remorse for the devastation you have visited upon your DW. Until you reach remorse & empathy, you'll be likely to be protecting yourself & being married, over what your DW truly needs.
- Get counselling for yourself (not couples counselling, you need to work on yourself first).
- You said that you weren't making each other happy. It's not your job to make each other happy. You need to be responsible for your own feelings and happiness and not expect your DW to fill that hole within you (see the need for counselling)
- Ask yourself why you didn't end the marriage before you cheated. Something within you thought it was ok to cheat...whatever it is, it needs to be worked out, acknowledged, boundaries put in place, and actually worked on so that you won't do it again (see the need for counselling). Otherwise you're not going to be a safe partner for anyone.
- Think about the time you invested in your OW. Not just time spent with her, but also all the time you spent thinking of her, time spent flirting in the run-up, time spent listening to her. That is all time and effort that you stole from your marriage. You need to put twice the effort that you spent on the OW, on your DW and marriage.
- Get more invested in family life: pulling your weight with the DC, with the daily chores (laundry, hoovering, dusting, cleaning, ironing etc) so that your DW feels she has an equal partner working with her, not pulling against her....That won't be pleasant. Hardly anyone likes doing household mundane stuff (probably incl your DW). But every time you feel like not doing something, remind yourself that every time you leave something lying around, put something in the linen bin, leave a plate on the side, you are choosing to let someone else (probably your DW) do it instead, and the message that you are sending everyone is that you think you are better than the other people in the family because someone else can do it all for you.
- Whatever you do, you need to be the one that does it. You need to do the heavy lifting now. If she has to remind you, or ask if you've done it, then your words are not matching your actions. Right now she can't trust your words anyway, so she'll be watching your actions.
Finally, whatever you decide to do, this cannot just be a whim. You need to be able to commit to the long haul. These new habits need to last a lifetime, not just a few weeks/months until she calms down. If you know that you can't do this for years, then you need to be honest and walk away because it is very cruel to let the betrayed partner attempt to reconcile if you just don't have what it takes.
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