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Husband left after affair but want him back(949 Posts)
Hi, am new to mumsnet have never done anything like this before so here goes. In mid August I found out my husband of 17 years has been having an affair for 5 months with a 'work colleague'. He left me and our 3DC's within a couple of days. Since then he has visited us often, is attentive and caring towards me, and when he is working away - which is quite often, calls or texts frequently to talk to the dcs but inevitably ends up speaking for hours to me. He maintains he loves me as much as he did before the affair, that I did nothing wrong, that he was not disastisfied with any aspect of our marriage - I was the perfect wife? But the feelings he has for the OW are 'deeper'. Is there any hope for us? I feel that he is living a fantasy and that one day he will realise this and what he has thrown away - am I deluding myself? Please help, I miss him so much, have been with him since I was 15 and really don't want to give up on everything we had.
There is certainly little hope while you continue to engage and feed his ego.
I think it is time you made yourself unavailable and then sit back and see what happens. As it is you are still available to him and he is having his cake and eating it to a certain extent.
Hopefully someone with more experience will come along soon to help and give advice.
Thanks for your advice Doha. I see exactly where you are coming from but its so difficult. I have tried ignoring his calls for example this morning and he rang and rang constantly for 45 minutes and eventually I crumbled and answered. Must be stronger! But when he calls to see the DCs he is always so concerned about how I am, wants to talk about how i'm feeling etc. Its like he never went away but then he goes back to her.....
Why don't you say you're on the other phone, when he rings? Don't say who you're talking to, but get rid of him fast. Keep your phone off the hook, if necessary.
He's too happy. If you want him back, you have to make him absolutely miserable without you.
Oh and don't ask him about why he left, etc - just say you've been thinking about it and it really is a good thing that you two are separated - obviously it's sad for the children, but that now you have your chance to meet someone who you really get on with and trust - sound happy that you've been given this opportunity.
He probably does feel more for her or thinks he does. It will change once the initial lust has gone.
What he is doing to you is cruel, cold, calculating and manipulative.
He knows you want him so keeps you hanging so you can't move on. A case he dosent want you but does not want you to move on either.
He is not a nice man, he had an affair and left you with 3 dcs. He is now manipulating you, you need to set bounderies and tell him to leave you alone.
Ask him to call at a certain time and depending on the ages of the Dc's let them answer and when finished hng up without your involvement.
Can you get someone else round to do the DC handovers so you dont have to see him. If you are unavailable to him he might miss you--absense makes the heart grow fonder and all that. IF that is what you want but I would be very hesitant in hanging about waiting for him. There are plenty of other decent blokes out there.
Start living for today and for yourself and your DC's.
Oh, he is confused, God love him, it's you he loves and is attached to, she is a distraction from mundane reality !
Is he living with her ? still seeing her ?
He cannot have both !
My heart goes out to you !
Good advice Atswim.
If his feelings for OW are so deep why can't he just get on with it ? why keep contacting you ?
She is a fantasy, when reality hits, he'll be right back.
Best, best wishes to you.
Sorry to sound blunt but he is covering bases and if things dont work out with her then he thinks he can come back to you and carry on as if nothing has happened.
Its up to you what you decide but dont make any decisions without a lot of thought.
Doha is right. If you really do want this man back, then you are going about it the wrong way.
First of all, really check your motives here. Are you sure you want him back for the right reasons, or do you want to win a competition between you and the OW? Don't be scared to admit that, because it is quite normal and understandable. However, it actually gets in the way of a mature decision. It could be, you see, that you will not be able to forgive this betrayal at all. It's not easy, believe me, even when a spouse deeply regrets an affair.
If you decide that you do want him back and want to start a path to forgiveness, the quickest way of doing that is to detach from your H. Do not speak about anything other than the DCs. He has no business knowing anything about your life and you should tell him so.
If you've got good childcare support, start getting out and catching up with friends. Change the house around and rid it of his influences. When he has the DCs, tell him you will be out, but not where you're going.
If this man is truly conflicted and having second thoughts, he needs an incentive to shit or get off the pot. The only incentive that works in this situation is loss and if he thinks he really has burnt his boats with you and wants to come back, he will do so much more quickly than he will, with your current strategy.
At the moment he is getting his ego propped up by two adoring women and that stinks, frankly.
I have to declare that in these situations, I would prefer a man like this to be dumped by both women and it would be my hope that in your efforts to pretend you've detached, it happens in reality and you will wake up one day and think "No man treats me like this" but I appreciate that for you, that day is far in the future.
Start being assertive and showing him that your life isn't on hold. This will actually do you the power of good, because I'm sure you never wanted to be like this, in a state of suspended animation and waiting for some idiot of a man to tire of his OW, did you?
Get your most assertive women friends on side and create a plan of action.
Thanks for all your comments.
Lolass: I feel you have hit the nail on the head. He is completely confused and totally not himself at the mo. Completely stressed with things going on at work etc. Part of me believes he thinks he has hurt us so badly that he cannot return and feels he has to push forward with the path he chose.
WWIFN: Am so glad you replied have read your advice on many threads and you seem so wise about these situations. You are right, I do see really, but in reality its so hard. But I am gonna try. I feel he is in such a bad place at the moment with himself really, he always really hated ppl who had affairs but now he says he has an understanding of why. I also understand your comments about competing with the OW, I WAS like that in the first few weeks but the urge to do that now is fading. He is/was such a straight, honest person and a great dad to our DC's - he still is now. Rings them every morning, after school and before bed regardless of his plans. Do you think there is any hope of him returning? I did ignore his calls yesterday morning - he was trying to ring me even after he had spoken to the DC's who were at their Gran's - I asked him this morning why he rang and he said he needed to know I was OK? But the bottom line is he can't explain why this has happened, all he says is how sorry he is, how his feelings for me have not changed - he still loves me but that he feelings for her are somehow 'stronger'. God this is so hard - I never thought in a million years this would happen to us - and believe me I have moved on so much from August when he left. I was suicidal for a week, the DC's were the only thing that kept me here - I look back on that time and it now feels like a dream. I have accepted what has happened but feel that what we had is/was too good to throw away. If he had said he no longer loved me, I would be able to move on but while ever I know he does - I believe there is a chance? Sorry for the long ramble. And thank you all for taking time to reply x
LOLASS: Sorry didnt answer your questions. He left us and moved straight into her flat. He is still living there.
He also is still wearing his wedding ring - not sure why. Dont ask really. Know there are problems between them - she threw him out a couple of weeks ago and where did he go? Straight back to us. A complete coincidence that the kids were staying away that night - I think! I also know they have their biggest rows when I go out with friends, he can't stand that. Also he has admitted that he doesnt want me to move on, can't stand the thought of me being with another man and admits how selfish those thoughts are. All this gives me hope? Am I deluded? Sometimes I feel that I am so afraid of what the future holds I am hanging on because I can't let go of what was essentially my life. I really can't imagine being with another man, or introducing someone to my DCs. I never wanted any of this. But know I am gonna have to take control - its just sooo hard!
Solost - yes there might well be a chance that he will want to return to you. What you need to know is whether you want him back if that happens.
Most importantly there needs to be no pity. So take WWIFN's advice in a few words get a life!
If he never comes back you will have that life, if he does, you will have that life! See friends, make new ones. Use that time without children (I assume he care for them sometimes) to start something new (DO NOT USE TIME TO CATCH UP ON HOUSEWORK!!!!).
I am sure he does still have plenty of love for you, you sound lovely and lovable. But just perhaps you deserve more?
I'm sorry but he sounds a total knob. He is making sure he doesn't burn his boats with you by dangling a bit of love and affection under your nose to keep you hanging off his string should the OW throw him out. If he loved you he wouldn't treat you like this, what he is doing to you is emotional abuse. I totally agree with the poster who said to detach yourself the best you can from this idiot, make yourself unavailable to him, go and get your hair done, buy a new outfit and get out as much as you can, let him know you're cutting the string.
If he's ever gonna come back to you it will be when you do these things, at the moment he feels empowered, this has to change. Do you really want him back? His treatment of you is quite honestly shockingly terrible.
But Solost, he CAN'T have 2 women !
(I don't know what kind of a fool his ow is and don't care one bit about her, what sort takes up with a married person knowing they have 3 kids and what misery it all brings ?).
You have to withdraw from him and only discuss child issues. He has left you and is still trying to have you. The situation is crazy. He cannot be allowed this much power !
Solost I am in exactly the same position except we didn't have children.
My DH had an affair with a much younger (27 years) co worker and left to be with her. He left me in limbo for 2 months whilst he decided who he wanted to be with. He still tells me he loves me, he never intended to leave and cant give me any explanation as to why he let it happen, we had a wonderful relationship. He was also under a lot of pressure at work.
He has been gone now since august and moved in with OW a month later. He told me when I asked if the grass was greener that the grass was green at home and that things are difficult between them but he hopes it gets better!! I also feel like you that he is forging ahead with it because that is the path he has chosen and will try and make it work, he did say the has made his bed and that he has to lie on it for at least a while but I really think he will just stay with her unless she ends it, that said I can't give up hope that he will come to his senses and realise he has thrown away such a good relationship.
I wish you the best of luck and if I can help you in anyway I will. Everyhtjing you are feeling is normal, I too felt suicidal and have had to go on AD, which I have never had to do before even though my dad died at 56, exH left for another woman and then my mum died, but it is him who has left me wrecked.
Getting him back will not solve any of your problems, unless you both can make sense of why this happened. He could easily return to her if she changes her mind and tempts him back for example. You sound like you are in denial in a way. You need to think long and hard about this. You want him back for the right reason, that he has ended the affair of his own choice, not that he's come back to you as there's no alternative. You want him back because he wants you and is truly sorry and is prepared to severe all contact with her and be completely transparent with you whilst you rebuild trust in your marriage. You may miss him but if you do not work things out with him in a sensible fashion with marriage counseling etc you are building your foundations on very shaky ground.
Can I also suggest you buy and read this book.
He cares how you are because he doesn't want to feel guilty. Men hate to feel guilty.
If you accommodate his poor, confused feelings and allow him to see that you are coping, stil love him, still want him, yes you're fine thank you but miss him etc. - then his guilt is assuaged.
I really do think he is covering all bases and making sure that if it goes tits up with the OW that you will welcome him back with open arms.
Do you really want to though - at the moment you do, but in time you might come to feel differently - he is a completely selfish arse who:
had an affair and moved in with OW because his feelings for her are "deeper" than they are for you;
wants to make sure you are ok so that he doesn't need to feel bad about his behaviour;
comes to see you when it suits him but goes back to the OW when things smoothe out there again;
basically has his cake and gets to eat it too.
Do you really want to enable that?
Can't you just think about him doing it at night with the woman he lives with while you are at home alone with your dc as a result of him leaving you so that he can be snuggling up cosily with her while you sit alone being hurt at home?
Aren't you worth more than being treated like that?
17 years of marriage and you give him wonderful children.
And he sods off after two days of being found out.
What a lovely man.
I think it is called taking the piss.
I am sure he is getting very deep with his OW.
He needs to 'shape up or ship out' of you and your children's lives.
I mean 'your life'. Unfortunately, he is still their father.
But he can't have his cake and eat it with you.
Be unavailable emotionally, do not be his support or fuel his lack of guilt for what he's done to you. He's a class prick to continue to keep you in tow, who does that?
When he calls pretend to get another call, or cook or anything that means you can't talk. I have a feeling that once you're unavailable he will try and win you over again, and then leave again.
This man is telling you that the price of 'keeping' him is to accept that he isn't monogamous and is going to have other sexual partners.
It is perfectly possible to love more than one person at a time and to have open relationships that work just as well as monogamous ones. However, when one partner is basically having it al his/her own way, then it's not going to work out very well unless the other partner is able to insist on some respect and consideration for him/herself.
Your H is going about this in a very selfish and unfair way, so I rather doubt you would be able to make an open relationship work with him because the way he conducts his sex life is all about him. But if you do think, after considering it, that you can cope with monogamy-free living (many people can, but it's a very personal decision), the first step in your case would be to make your H aware that you are dating, going to date, going to have sex with other men. Because you can. Because there is no reason why you shouldn't.
If you don't feel up to it at all, you don't have to do it (certainly don't have sex wit other men that you don't feel ready for - for one thing it's not fair on the other men either) - but maybe try a few dates, casually, just to get your mind off XH for a bit.
Sorry, I am confused. Where does he live? Does he live on his own?
Did he leave you to live with the other woman? Is he living on his own and seeing both of you?
What a player!
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