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If you stayed together after his affair, what happened?

(34 Posts)
wtfdoido Sun 10-Jul-11 17:33:44

Namechanged. Sorry if this is a bit disjointed and it is long!

Just found out that my H had a text/phone affair for almost my entire pregnancy, baby is 6 weeks old. We only got married a couple of months before I got pg so for almost all of our marriage so far he has been unfaithful.

It was with an ex from years and years ago who is also married. I found the secret phone, that I hadnt had any idea about, when he bought it home from work and left it in his trousers. No idea why but as he knows I was doing washing and didnt bother to hide it I do wonder if he almost wanted me to find it. They texted back and forth with explicit messages, videos and photos of themselves, from atleast as far back as me being 9 weeks pg and possibly longer and from the texts, the only reason they didnt meet up for sex was because they couldnt work out shifts, their respective partners etc He maintains that he wouldnt have actually done anything, but how can I believe that?

He went off sex with me immediately I got pg and said that he didnt know why. He has now admitted that it was because he found the whole idea weird and didnt fancy me at all (thanks for that). I went through hell over that and I am so angry that not only did he take away that part of our marriage with no discussion with me and leaving me no choice but to put up with it, he also made sure that he was sorted out in the department by going elsewhere. He maintains that they didnt start texting til after I was pg, again I am not 100% I believe this but have no evidence to prove otherwise. It stopped just before she was born but they have been in touch since in a non sexual way, H says that they were just keeping in touch. The texts do seem to confirm that.

He has lied to me in the past and we have had some very rough times, although he has not cheated to my knowledge before, and this for me is the final straw. It isnt just the cheating but the fact that I was pg and it was a really hard time for me, I was very ill and he just withdrew emotionally and physically and went to someone else. I put alot of effort into talking to him and trying to make it easier for both of us, but he didnt want to know. It wasnt my first pg but it was his. They didnt have sex or even meet (she lives in another town) and the texts confirm that, but the fact that the same texts also seem to indicate that they wanted to meet and were going to if they could arrange it means it was more a case of a lack of opportunity that stopped him than any decision on his part.

He wants us to stay together, has cried buckets and said that he is sorry, blah blah, doesnt know why he did it although he thinks it was an ego boost and a bit of a kick back against suddenly having to be a responsbile husband and father. He said that he didnt think about it in terms of cheating as they had never met up but he admits that deep down he did know that what he was doing was wrong. He said he couldnt help himself at which point I went mad and said that yes, if he wanted to he could have stopped himself but he chose not to and to not try using that bullshit. I also pointed that as the person who had celibacy thrust upon with no choice and no discussion I had more reason to cheat but I still managed to keep my pants on.

So now I have to decide whether to stay or not.

I can either stay with a man who cheated on me when I was pregnant and didnt think enough of me and our unborn child and existing children to stay faithful. Or I can be a single mum on benefits (for the short term atleast) within 6 weeks of giving birth, some choice eh?

There was a real lightbulb moment today when I asked him what he wanted to happen and he said, "I want you to forgive me and we move on and have a fresh start" and when I said that I dont know if I will ever forgive him and that right now I am thinking 90% of leaving and 10% of staying and the 10% is because of money and the kids he was shocked. I dont think he genuinely thought that I would consider leaving him.

The problems is that I still love him although I hate his guts too, and I would quite cheerfully smack him shitless if I thought it would achieve anything. But up until last night we were the happiest we have been for a long time, our sex life had resumed, everything was great. For a short while I even considered pretending I didnt know about it so that we could carry on as we had been, but that only lasted about 30 seconds before I blew up! The kids would be heartbroken and there is of course also the issue of me managing alone which I know I could do, but frankly right now I dont really want to.

So after that essay, WWYD? And what was it like if you stayed after he had an affair? Did you get past it? Can you get the love back? Do you ever get the trust back? I have trust issues in the past that I worked through so I dont htink I will ever be able to trust him again after this, and surely you cant have a decent relationship without trust? Can it really work out after something like this?

HerHissyness Sun 10-Jul-11 18:15:40

I wouldn't. Not now.

His deceit was monumental. secret phone? video messages? Nah, that wouldn't work for me.

I hope you get some constructive advice. ((((hugs))))

WinkyWinkola Sun 10-Jul-11 18:21:05

I couldn't. What he has done is beyond forgivable imo.

Wisedupwoman Sun 10-Jul-11 18:45:26

I stayed after the first one and it didn't work out well, trust gone and all that. Sorry OP. sad

mankymummymoo Sun 10-Jul-11 18:58:39

well.. a slightly different perspective on this.

my ex did pretty much the same whilst i was pregnant, except he did meet up with her a few occasions. in hindsight i know he totally freaked at the parenting thing.

i left him two weeks before our DS was born. he said he loved us, wanted to be a family once DS was born. but he was still shagging other women. we had sex, got close again when DS was six months old, i got pregnant again. Found out he'd been seeing another woman. he denied it, said i was mad.... etc. etc.

i lost the baby. fast forward six years. ex is with a lovely, lovely lady who is amazing stepmum to DS.... and he is still messing around - i know if i gave the slightest indication i was interested, he would be there like the proverbial rat up a drainpipe.

sorry that was a bit of a rant but honestly, trust your instincts and do whats best for you and your DC.

wtfdoido Sun 10-Jul-11 19:09:35

Thank you for the replies and thank you for your story Manky.

My instinct is that he is genuinely sorry and would do anything to make our marriage work, I truly believe that he is terrified of losing us. But thats now, there is no guarantee that in a few months he wont get bored at having to bend over backwards and it happens again.

I have looked into it and it seems that one of the most common times for a man to cheat is during pregnancy. FFS, what is it with pg that men cant deal with?! They are more likely to cheat, more likely to commit DV, more likely to drink heavily.....its a good job us women arent that shit isnt it?

Aislingorla Sun 10-Jul-11 19:10:22

We're still together after 2 affairs (found out about both at the same time) and without going into details are actually stronger than ever.(you can look up my posts if you want)
Very different circumstances to yours, my youngest was 2 when he started the 'online' affair.(1st one) I was not pregnant (and therefore very vulnernable, unlike you).I !was, just simply put, very involved with my kids, friends, family and he just didn't get a look in!
We are 2 years on, I love him and he loves me . Not 100% sure if I fully trust him, yet. He has not put a foot wrong since 'discovery' but ,still, proved himself capable of enormous deceit!
I read lots of books about infidelity, relatioships, etc. the one that worked best for me was /is 'When will I trust again?' by Andrew Marshall.
Good luck. I feel for you with a new baby to cope with and all this.

Aislingorla Sun 10-Jul-11 19:12:23

I meant to say 'not vulnerable'. Sorry!

ShoutyHamster Sun 10-Jul-11 19:14:02

He wants you to move on, forgive him as if it never happened and it all be ok again.

This just after he's told you that he just couldn't help himself.

So he's saying to you that he's not actually capable of rational thought and restraint, that he's just a sexually/emotionally incontinent fool. But please will you stay with him anyway. Even though this 'excuse' is basically saying, 'when times are tough again, or even if not and I just feel like it, I'll probably let you down again. Because I can't help it.'

I appreciate how tough it's going to be, but I would cut my losses. He's simply not worth it as a person, and you don't sound daft enough to 'forgive and move on'.

He sounds as if he doesn't even realise what he's trashed. Sad for him. But not worth you staying with all the heartache that would mean.

memorylapse Sun 10-Jul-11 19:19:51

Im so sorry to hear you are going through this..I discovered last sept that my stxh was having an emotional affair with a work colleague, dd was six months old at the time and tbh, the more evidence I uncover the more Im convinced that it started when I was pregnant, I eventually asked him to leave as he continued to lie to me..he moved in with her.
IME, unfaithful partners will only admit to what they can get away with, I would not be convinced that it had not been physical, you only have his word. If you want to re build your marriage it can only be done with him being completely honest with you about the level of involvement. He needs to terminate ALL contact with OW, and be completely transparent with phones, computers etc.
For me Im afraid this level of betrayel especially during a vulnerable time would be the deal breaker sad

maleview70 Sun 10-Jul-11 22:53:31

Why do you still love him? If someone did that to me I would fcking hate them.

wtfdoido Sun 10-Jul-11 23:25:20

Reading all these replies and thinking very hard, thank you all for helping.

Maleview i love the man I thought he was yesterday, but I hate the man he has turned out to be today. And it will take some time to get over losing the man I thought he was.

heleninahandcart Mon 11-Jul-11 01:40:28

You are right in that it is very common for me to cheat when DP is pregnant. Apparently its for exactly the same reasons your P gave. At least he has worked this out for himself, and realises why he did it. He isn't trying to blame you (and shouldn't either)

Also, its hard to believe the reason he didn't have sex in RL is because of shift patterns etc. If he wanted to, he would have found a way. Was it mostly him or her who couldn't arrange it?

You don't need to decide anything now. Don't need to do anything at all now. Let him talk, let him sweat. Let him think you might leave, and let it sink in with him what he could loose.

If you decide to forgive, it will take time. He must be transparent about phones, email passwords etc, and you set the ground rules. He has to earn your trust again. I hope it works out for you OP.

heleninahandcart Mon 11-Jul-11 12:34:29

Men, not 'me'. I hope you are managing this morning OP

wtfdoido Mon 11-Jul-11 20:54:25


Not a good day tbh helen something caught me off guard and I ended up crying in the supermarket earlier, when a lovely member of staff asked me if I was ok I said that someone had died. Kind of true really because the man I thought DH was is dead, he never existed at all I guess, and I am grieving the loss of him sad

I am trying to squash my instincts which is to smash his face in and kick him out, to give me time to read the books I have ordered that have been recommend on similar threads on here. Then hopefully I will have a clear head and be able to make an objective decision.

I hate him so much for doing this. And the hurt is indescribable, I never knew that emotional pain could actually hurt physcially too.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 11-Jul-11 20:56:14

So sorry - I know too well how you must be feeling....

RidinOnAPig Mon 11-Jul-11 21:07:02

Poor you. I have nothing to add other than I really hope you work it out whichever way. Try and make the most out of enjoying your son, and spend as much time with friends and family as you can.

wtfdoido Tue 12-Jul-11 00:01:04

Thank you Ridin and Mad.

We have been talking again and I told him what has been making me cry. Its that we arent talking about whether we should split up, its about whether I should come back to him because he lost me the second I saw those messages. I didnt really realise that myself until earlier this evening and that realisation upset me very much. I said that he needs to "sell" me our marriage, to make it worth my while to work at it, to give me a reason to come back because right now the only reason I have is that I love him, but that isnt enough. I dont trust him, respect him or want him.

He cried again and is in a bit of state, I think because it means that he will have to confront what it is inside him that caused him to do this, and he doesnt want to do that. I cant say I blame him, none of us really want to admit to our failings and our wrongdoings. There is a major issue concerning his father that he has never really dealt with, preferring to ignore it than deal with the pain of it and then heal. I think that that issue has played a big part in why this (and other things in other areas of his life) has happened. His desperate fear of losing people he loves means that he pushes them away, so if they stay then they must truly love him and if they go, well he is better off without them as obviously they never really cared. Also, its the old story of "get them before they get you", and I think that only counselling will help him with that. I have suggested it and I think that he will finally do it because he has realised just what this destructive, self sabotaging streak has destroyed.

But from my POV, at the moment we might be living in the same house but we are seperated and he needs to win me back. And it will take more the sweet words and promises. And now I am crying again. A year from our wedding and here we are. I wish I could go back a year and talk that poor woman out of getting married because although he will make the vows, he wont value them or her enough to stop his affair. I wish I could tell her what heartache she is signing up for. I look at her in the photos, in her beautiful dress, surrounded by her family and looking so happy and proud on the arm of her new husband and I cry. I look at the photos of her pregnant, glowing and happy despite all her problems, not knowing the man grinning next to her, looking so proud, the man whos baby she was carrying was the man who would, in a few short months, tear her world apart.

I wish I could save her from that sad

letitlie Tue 12-Jul-11 00:18:58

unmumsnetty hugs, your last post just made me cry sad, sorry brought back memories as its a similar place to where I have been in the past. Unfortunately we did not make it, but limped on for 2 years after for sake of DC.... it really depends on a joint desire to make it work

ShoutyHamster Tue 12-Jul-11 08:50:28

'There is a major issue concerning his father that he has never really dealt with, preferring to ignore it than deal with the pain of it and then heal. I think that that issue has played a big part in why this (and other things in other areas of his life) has happened. His desperate fear of losing people he loves means that he pushes them away, so if they stay then they must truly love him and if they go, well he is better off without them as obviously they never really cared. Also, its the old story of "get them before they get you", and I think that only counselling will help him with that.'

If that is true, then he needs to get counselling, and the best, safest and most effective way for you to make it clear that you will not be a slave to his failings OR be prepared to put up with endless shit from him is for you to split properly, for him to move out, for not less than a year while he works this out. Otherwise this will be brushed under the carpet after a couple of sessions and a lot of whining about how it's not working and anyway you're in a much better place now.

It will take a huge incentive - i.e. having lost you - rather than him getting to stay in his comfy home with a vague threat of you leaving him - to make him face this if he has avoided it this long. And let's face it, he is an avoider, a coward, isn't he? That's why you are where you are now.

If all that is bullshit, and it's more the case that he's a selfish, arrogant cheat with a good line in how 'messed up' he is, then you should also split PROPERLY for a decent amount of time to allow you to judge that for yourself. You also get to weigh up, without him in your face all the time, whether YOU can forgive, whether YOU want him back or whether you would rather cut your losses and not spend your life with a man who once showed you how much he enjoyed shitting on you and your baby. This should be about you, not him, after all.

Make arrangements for him to go. Oh and if he won't - then that tells you a hell of a lot about how sorry he actually is, and how much work he's actually prepared to put into fixing this. In fact, if all you get is 'oh no, I don't have to do that, how can we sort this out if we're apart, I should stay while I go to counselling' etc. - then I can virtually guarantee you that you're with a shitbag, and that he will probably do this again.

wtfdoido Tue 12-Jul-11 09:19:34

He will move out, although he is desperate not to but he is basically agreeing to anything I ask. Money will be an issue, not sure how that will get sorted but I will work something out. It is me that can see the "father issue", he has always denied its existence. He has always said that what happened didnt affect him at all but it is so obvious to me that it did and that he needs help firstly accepting that and then dealing with it.

I agree that long term counselling is the only way to go and tbh I think that regardless of what happens with us, he needs it to make sure he doesnt fuck his life up again after this.

He is not and will not be a getting an easy ride out of this, I promise you.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 12-Jul-11 09:42:23

I am another one who is surviving my H's affair. After a couple of weeks, I decided that we would give it our best shot although I made it clear that I wasn't making long term guarantees as so much would depend on H's behaviour, how well the counselling was going etc.

After doing some reading (e.g Shirley Glass), I also decided that in our case, not to make H move out (although he has said he would move out if I asked him to). I really do believe that this is helping as it has meant we were and are able to do a lot of talking, ask questions etc. H is definitely not getting an easy ride. Every situation is different though so you can only do what is best for you.

I find it interesting to note that on here those who are very anti trying to make the marriage work are often those who have never been in this situation before - I used to say I would throw out my H if he ever got caught cheating but in real life, its not that simple....

wtfdoido Tue 12-Jul-11 09:52:09

Mad it really isnt that simple is it? I am waiting for my Shirley Glass book to come and then hopefully I will be better placed to make the big decisons about where we go from here, if anywhere.

Why the fuck do the selfish cowardly c*nts do this to us and then ask us to forgive and forget? angry


MadAboutHotChoc Tue 12-Jul-11 11:44:41

Be kind to yourself - do nice things like coffees in town, haircuts, pedicures etc as these will help you start to feel a bit better about yourself.

But yeah, what happened to me has been horrendous, and sadly from reading other threads on here, so many women are suffering just as much thanks to their cheating OHs.

cjel Tue 12-Jul-11 13:50:54

just found out at weekend my dh of 30 years has girfriend, He really really likes her but said he won't see her until he decides what he wants but has been texted and talking on the phone for all I know. Had a lost hour sunday after all the mess. I vearing from hating him and looking forward to moving on to wanting to make him be sorry, love me and make it allright.Said only took her out once!! Saw her for meal fri. checked his receipts and he also then admitted taking her for lunch on Wed. got home 1am sat morn. She phoned him at 9am. Had gds birthday party sat and straight after he went to see her to tell her he really likes her and wants relationship with her but won't until he make a decision about me!!!has been even taking phone into the bathroom with him.Am in bits and can't stop crying but I think I really would like to make it work. Have great friends really supportive but they all want me to move on? Don't believe a word he says he changes like the wind - doesn't want to upset me - despises me and deserves to be happy. He has holidays with tennis mate football season ticket, motorbike endless hobbies. I have only family life and volunteering that Ido. Am also at colleg doing counselling course. Hve been so honest , told him I can leave have money from parents but am staying because I want to work at it. I just don'e know if this can ever work either OP. Am crying as I type so sorry for ramble.xx

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