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How on earth do I cope?(33 Posts)
5 weeks ago my H of 5 months (been together 5 years, no DC) told me he had feelings for another woman. Over the course of the week I found out it'd been going on for about 2 months, just meeting up.
He said he wasn't happy with me, didn't think it'd work if we gave it a go but wasn't sure if he wanted her. I eventually asked him to leave and he is currently living in a caravan in the orchard.
He still hasn't decided what he wants. We've been spending a lot of time together but yesterday I found out he has also been seeing her, and sleeping with her. But is still undecided.
I have thrown him off the premises and told him to go to hers, I phoned her and told her she was welcome to him. She wants him and loves him but he is still unsure.
I have reacted really badly, partly because he is the last last last person you would ever think could do this and partly because it was a complete and utter shock. I have tried to keep my dignity and have not begged him to stay though I made it clear at first I wanted to try. After 2 weeks of dithering I said I didn't want him back, though I honestly don't know how I feel.
I had to go to the doctors as I don't have much RL support (everyones busy and has done what they can but I spend a lot of time alone now) and I was thinking incredibly dark thoughts. I got some sleeping pills and prozac but now the sleeping pills have run out and the prozac isnt doing much. I have constant panic in my chest, feel sick, cannot eat or sleep, work and pets are suffering.
I've told him that if he wants her he has to move off site and mocve his work (he works where we live) but if he doesn't want her, he has to tell her and he can stay in the caravan and work here. I haven't said I'd automatically take him back, but at the moment I might be willing to try if he was.
I honestly don't know how to cope. He says he won't see her until he makes a decision but won't say when he'll decide!!!
I know I have to face the prospect that he will pick her and be out of my life forever and most of my friends think this would be for the best. Maybe it is. But I am still in shock, terrified, panicking. We haven't even got our wedding album back yet.
How to cope?
Firstly you go to your GP (ring NOW) and say that the Prozac isn't helping, can they review the medication and ask about anti-anxiety drugs. Get that sorted pronto.
Secondly - call Relate, and go and talk it through (on your own) with someone who is there to listen and help. You have to pay but it's a fairly nominal amount, I think.
And then - just take your time. In your shoes I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life with someone so spineless and deceitful, and who hasn't even got the decency or courage to make up his mind pronto so you can start emerging from this hell. But then I'm not you. Even if he doesn't want her, I think your best bit is to get him completely off-site for the foreseeable - out of the caravan, working somewhere else. Give yourself some time and space.
It will get better, I promise. It sounds trite, but it's true.
Thank you. I'm at the GP 8am tomorrow so will tell them how bad it is.
I always thought I was zero tolerance on cheating but now it's happened I just cannot find enough strength to give him up. I've told him it's over and tried to keep dignified but I just want him to want me again. We've only just got married and I was so secure.
The home situation is quite awkward. It belongs to his friend but he has agreed I can stay in the house. The work situation...well I don't really have any rights to kick him out of his shed but he agrees that if he wants to be with her it would be unfair for me to have to see him everyday at work so I think he would move.
We're on quite good terms, plenty of tears and emotional conversations but I feel I am completely cracking up. My entire future just changed.
Can't really offer anything other than sympathy OP, but hoping this will bump for you.
Hello again YouMakeMeWanna, I'm so glad you've started your own thread.
I am going to land feet first here and ruffle your feathers a bit I'm afraid. I know exactly how you feel with your H's behaviour but you need to call a spade a spade. Your H is not dithering he is trying to have his cake and eat it in the most selfish of ways. He is being intolerably cruel and selfish to leave you dangling and wondering what sort of future you have. Do not diminish the cruelty of his behaviour in your mind by saying he is dithering.
You do need to look after yourself first, especially your mental well-being. Make sure you tell your doctor about the affair and the impact that all of this is having on you. This will help your GP prescribe the best medication. It looks like you're not sleeping (I'm a fine one to talk) so your GP will take this into account as well.
I know that my mental well-being only really picked up once I had left H, which was 2 weeks ago. I am sad, I cry, I drink too much alcohol but I have not had a day under the duvet since then, I have not wanted to hurt myself to distract myself from the emotional pain since then and I have had genuine fun during the down bits. I've also done something that is anathema to me - I've leant on others: friends, family and colleagues. I've let them take the strain and I've been overwhelmed by how glad they are to do this. You say your RL support has done what they can but it's only been 5 weeks, so have you really let them help you? Have you told your family yet?
If you do try a reconciliation will your H be willing to go to counselling? I think that would be important and if you do reconcile, imagine how you will behave, how it will be inside your head when he pops out to the cash machine, pops out for petrol and takes 15 minutes longer than normal. Imagine when he grabs his phone before heading for the loo. What would you do if your girlfriends want a girls' night out and you have to leave him at home alone? I could go on with a list of examples that simply drove me mad. I became someone I really did not like, and to be honest, I wasn't the W he had originally loved so there was no hope of him liking the paranoid version.
I feel for you so much. You are at the toughest point right now and maybe you have to go through the process of trying to make your marriage work at all costs so that you know you did everything you could to save it.
Your H's behaviour is deplorable, selfish and cruel. You know I think you should give him his marching orders. It will be hard and you will be faced with a new set of challenges but you will be able to face them with a clear head. After the dark places to which you have plummeted you will be grateful for that clear head, even though sadness comes with it, because the sadness will go. Mine hasn't gone yet but it is less than it was and I know it will go because everyone on MN says so.
Thanks so Much before You are, of course, right. I spoke to a friend yesterday and told them the latest revelations and they said 'what a cunt'!!! I immediately jumped to defend him but really couldn't!
I am so up and down, when i posted on your post I felt quite strong and relieved but now I'm back to not sleeping/eating I'm back to desperation and hopelessness.
I know this is such a huge cliche but this is sooo unlike him. I was only his second girlfriend, he is older than me, very shy, quiet and quite socially awkward, how the fuck did he manage this??? I just keep thinking, if he can do this to me, there really is no hope for men-kind.
I was working yesterday evening and had such a wonderful time, he actually popped out of my head for a while and when he popped back in, anger and disgust were the first feelings I had. That's an improvement and I had a wobble when I got home but have woke up feeling quite strong.
I honestly couldn't say if we have a future. I hate turning my back on things, especially a new marriage so full of hope, but I can only make that decision if he decides to get this woman out of his life which at the moment, he is obviously not ready to do
Thanks for the help. I keep being told 'it will get better' but it just keeps getting worse at the moment! Will have faith
You are in the eye of the storm at the moment and I'm afraid that you will just have to ride it until YOU are ready to call time.
Just like you my H is the last person that I and everyone we knew thought would do this. But that's almost irrelevant in a sense. What matters is that your H HAS done it. What matters is that your H IS treating you in the most cruel way - in a way that you would never treat him because of how much you love him. Why would you tolerate receiving anything less than you would give? We all want to love and cherish someone and be loved and cherished in return; don't settle for anything less.
I am truly sorry that this has come so early on in your marriage. It has burst that bubble of romance and happiness in such a harsh way.
I found out about my H's affair in March. I was lucky as a close friend of mine is a guy and he, quite literally, translated H's words and deeds for me to help me understand what he was doing and he told me when H was lying. My friend was never wrong about when my H lied. From March until 2.5 weeks ago I put my heart and soul into saving my marriage.
Like you I never give up, I never turn my back on things and I was getting pig-headed and bloody-minded about my marriage. In the end it was the mental health element and the realisation that I wasn't me anymore that stopped me in my tracks. I was writing down the car mileage for goodness sake and trying to figure out if he could have gone to see OW within the mileage and the context of what he'd done that day. That's not normal. And then I realised that by leaving behind his vile behaviour and lies, I wasn't giving up on my marriage and I wasn't turning my back on my marriage because the marriage I thought I had didn't exist and the H I thought I had didn't exist anymore, at least not for me. I was turning my back on a void and turning to face the future which is going to be bloody fantastic because my friends, family, MN and I will make sure it is.
You said that when you were working last night you enjoyed yourself for the first time in ages. So you see, it does get better. What happens at the beginning is that the good times are little snippets of time in between the sorrow and grief and slowly but surely it reverses until the sad times are the little snippets of time in between the good bits but even then the sad times come, and boy do they come, so just roll with it.
One of the best bits of advice I had from here was don't fight the sadness when it does come. When the sadness hits you deep in your stomach (I call this the fist of grief, because it just lands, pow and almost winds you) and you have physical symptoms and can't sleep, can't eat, feel sick etc just let it be. At least you know it's normal and that is good to know. Don't forget that what your H has done is wrong but your reactions and your physical symptoms are normal.
Do try and think of little things you like doing for you, even it's just your favourite bubble bath, watching a favourite TV programme, eating a pot of Haagen Daz (sp?) ice cream, painting your toe nails ... it doesn't have to be big. And imagine yourself doing the things you love that you don't do because you're with H. That can be very appealing too.
I'm sorry if I'm a bit "me, me, me" when I write on your thread but even if you take just one thing from my experience thus far then take it and make it work for you.
This is the hardest time, it really is. You are bruised and battered and hurt and then you're trying to figure out which way is up and which way is down. All the time you have hope for your marriage and faith in your H you will be stuck in this maelstrom I'm afraid so jumping on the next stepping stone is very much down to you and only you will know when you're ready to take that leap but MN can help inform you and help you realise what's best for you.
Know that I'm thinking of you and you're there in my thoughts. xx
Thanks so much before every sentence you write strikes a chord. I feel quite positive since my OP and objectively can see just how spineless he is. He is not worth so much of my pain. I think I was just clinging to the deluded notion I could get my own life back but it's too late.
I think it's been the slow reveal and the continued deceit (i.e. at first it was just a woman he liked, then under questioning admitted they'd met up, couple of weeks later admits theres been sex and on and on til I'm in shreds). I just cannot square this highly accomplished and cruel liar with the sweet, kind man I loved.
You are right about the good bits coming back, I've had a brilliant time today at work (graduation day!) though that could be the prozac/valium i was prescribed but I don't care, the pain seems to have gone away today and I feel sure I don't want him and can go it alone. His actions make me sick and his indecisiveness is repulsive.
I am pretty sure this 'up' won't last but I'll take your advice and roll with the lows. It'll just be staying away from him when I'm low that'll be the problem. I hope he decides to be with her and just leaves my life. Then there's no mess. I've been (knowingly) without his love and support for the last 5 weeks, in fact all he's done is devastate me over and over with each revelation, so life must be better without him from now on, right?
He is still living about 40feet away but it's been easy to avoid him since monday so just going to keep that up until he decides to leave or I'm strong enough to make him leave.
Thankyou swallowed when I wrote my OP I really was at rock bottom (I hope it was, I hope theres not a lower low) so appreciate every kind word and bit of advice.
I'm 27, I never thought I'd have a failed marriage before I was 30. I'm ashamed I couldn't keep a husband from sleeping around for more than 2 months (could be longer, I don't believe anything he's told me now). I was driving myself bonkers going over every single row or sharp word thinking 'if I'd acted differently, he might not have done it'. Utterly pointless thoughts but they spin round and round in my head.
Hi there YouMakeMeWanna.
Sorry its been a couple of days since my last post. I drafted a post to you in immediate response to your last one and then when I hit post message Id been logged out and lost the lot. Im afraid I went to bed in disgust and now my internet connection seems to have died (Im not at home tonight, so I have access) so that will be my job to fix next week. Fixing internet stuff will a first for me as H always did this <<gulp>>. Any how, enough of my excuses. How are things with you?
the slow reveal. I know how you feel. This, for me, was the worst thing of all that my H did and for me it was the element that eroded every last ounce of trust I had in him. I still believe that had he told me everything on 16 March and then been totally honest about his contact with OW during the various reconciliations we tried then I think we would be on the road to recovery together right now.
Every time your H ekes out a new fact it must leave you wondering whats coming next and when you start to anticipate that bad news must be around the corner how does that make you feel? I know I felt afraid and scared of what was coming next. I know I could never rest my mind during this phase and that is so very hard.
As for you feeling ashamed that you couldnt keep a husband from sleeping around for more than 2 months oh how reading that made me angry. First of all this is entirely his doing. Hes an adult and made the choice to do something terrible to you, when you, quite rightly, thought you were the most important, most special person in his life. It was HIS responsibility to stay true to you and resist temptation. It was HIS responsibility to confide in you and say that he was no longer feeling as fulfilled as he had hoped he would. I bet you dont see it as your Hs job to keep you from sleeping around, so why take on that cloak of blame? It is a well worn cliché but it really isnt your fault.
I agree wholeheartedly about all of these pointless thoughts we have. God dont we have loads of those? I find myself thinking one thing and then talking myself up or down, hopefully to end up back with normal neutral thoughts.
Know that I am thinking of you and rooting for you, even if my internet provider is making it difficult for me to tell you directly. I hope youve managed to have some good bits during the last couple of days and I hope you have a great blame-free weekend. xx
Thank you B&A You are an inspiration.
I've been quite strong this week and have avoided him. I left him a note yesterday morning saying he has lost all chance with me due to this indecisiveness and he is welcome to go to her, or not, I don't care. Can you guess what happened next? He came round to say he wanted me!
Oh god, that is all I've wanted to hear for the last 6 weeks but I know he's only saying it as he is upset he's not the one in control making all the decisions anymore. It hurt his ego and he immediately had to check I didn't mean it! well, I didn't break, I didn't let him in, just talked at the door for ten minutes. I didn't cry, just outlined why it wouldn't work. He cried and said he missed me. I just wanted to hold him and take him back but I kept imagining his hands on her body and i just stood there and watched him cry and said no.
It was quite satisfying and I feel all giddy now. But, of course I don't mean a word of what I said. I want him back, I really do and I'm doubting what I just did. I shouldn't want him back and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work.
But if he seriously wants me back (which I am unsure whether he's being genuine or not) he will give me some time and get the OW out of his life, which he is yet to do, she is waiting on a decision too.
I'm not making much sense, the drugs are really kicking in and it's getting quite hard to feel scared or anxious. This is a huge improvement but I now feel like I could sleep for a fortnight!!
Thank you before all my RL friends do sympathise but talking to someone actually going through it is so helpful. Hope you get your internet sorted, I need you!
Oh my gosh!
Really don't know what to advise at the mo but will bump for you. Have there been any more developments since you last posted?
So glad you stayed strong. Well done. Are you still feeling strong?
What a sad tale. So sorry.
I think you're amazing doing what you did today. Well done. But you haven't burnt your bridges. If he really does want to come back, then you saying f* off will only strengthen it for him. Stand back for a while yet, not just to make him sweat, but to gauge how you feel about the situation and what you want.
Everything that BeforeAndAfter said.
And absolutely good for you for doing what you did today. I don't believe that's you game-playing, by the way... I think that part of you is still in the disbelieving, eye-of-the-storm, want-everything-to-be-as-it-was phase (hence you still partly feel as if you want him back) but now you're quite naturally moving into the reality phase... where you KNOW that you can't have the past back, that this is the person he is, and sensible, realistic you is beginning to know that you will not be able to trust him again. Not just because of his infidelity, but because of the absolutely despicable way he's tried to string you along for this period.
You are spot on with his actions here. It's just about losing control and trying to get it back. Wow, he is truly a worm, isn't he? Can't even be true to his own cheating! I almost feel sorry for the OW. No, can't stay faithful, but also hasn't got the guts to say he wants to move on. Who knows what he really wants - I would urge you to make it your aim to truly not care. You need to protect yourself, and this man, your so-called husband, has shown that he cannot be trusted to have your best interests at heart.
Having an affair is one thing, leaving your spouse is one thing - what he has done here- 'Do I want you? Ooh, I might do' - is hideously cruel.
My advice would be, just make sure in everything that you do and say, that you prioritise YOU. Make decisions in your own time. If you want him working elsewhere, push for that. Not fair on him? Tough - he made this mess. If anyone should be inconvenienced, it's him.
And even if you want him back... I would say, make sure you push him right away now and keep him away. He isn't to be trusted, and if you ever got back together, I can say for sure that unless it's something you made him walk over hot coals for, he will probably let you down again some time in the future. Get him out of your life. Work very hard at trying to not want him back. Do this FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. If, after a long period of time, you find you still want him, and he wants to come back, then maybe it would be worth a try. But please give yourself clear blue water for a while to let you get to the stage where you get used to life without him. Right now, wanting him back isn't about him. It's about you wanting for life to be back as it was, for this nightmare to be over. But that's a fool's paradise. Embrace your new life - you HAVE to. Get the drugs sorted. Keep him at arm's length. When you start healing, only THEN make a final decision on him. And remember - what he wants now is about as important as a kitten farting in a thunderstorm!
Thank you for the replies!
And wow, ShoutyHamster I think I love you!
You are spot on and I know you are right. I feel so much better having taken back control. I am not hanging on his decision. I regret having been so weak for weeks but I couldn't help it.
I bumped into him again yesterday and he kept pushing 'you definately don't want me?', 'Is that it then'. And I kept calm (god bless valium) and asked him if he had any feelings for the OW or has he told her he wants me, not her, he went quiet and looked away. I said while he has an ounce of feeling for her, I don't want to know. I've shared enough with her! I said that if he means it, come back to me when he's over her and we can talk but I'm promising nothing. I also said that I won't be hanging around waiting for him, cue him asking if I was going to see other men!!! The cheek. I said I doubted it, after my experience with him but I've no one to stay faithful to. He didn't like that, but I did.
I know all this makes me sound quite strong but I am not. I've just realised that the less I see of him, the easier it gets. I honestly, honestly do not know if I would have him back or not. I know I shouldn't and I doubt it would work and I don't want to drive myself mad with suspicion. But, there's still a lot of feeling there, so much time and love invested and a planned future I can't forget. Also I just cannot imagine wanting to be with anyone else. A pathetic reason maybe but I feel quite pathetic right now.
I will take hamsters advice and keep him away. If he really wants me, he'll make the effort, if he doesn't, well as devastating as that is, it shows he's not worth it. I'm not competing with the OW for the rest of my life. In the meantime I've got friendships I've rediscovered, a business to run and a run to train for.
Thanks so much for all the replies, you can't imagine how empowered and reassured it makes me feel knowing that complete strangers care. x
You sound great! Nothing to add, just very impressed with how well you have handled your crisis. Keep going the way you're going lady!
Best of luck.
Agreeing with the above poster, you've done amazingly well. And you aren't pathetic at all for being conflicted over whether to take him back, it's extremely easy to look at other people and think "dump him" and "get rid" but when it's your life and the person you've been with it gets a hell of a lot more complicated emotionally. It's agonizing and all certainty gets mixed up while you work out what to do and where to go. You sound like you'll do brilliantly without him though.
I cannot imagine how hard you must have found this (an are still finding it) but I am serioulsy impressed with how you have handled it.
Brilliant advice there on your thread, particularly from BandA and shouty I have nothing more to add
I would second that you do not contact him, and do not allow him to use you as a sounding board for bemoaning his fucked-up life
His fault, his mess to clear up
Personally, I hope you won't take him back.
I love the words of this song...The Beautiful South "A Little Time"
I need a little time,
To think it over,
I need a little space,
Just on my own
I need a little time
To find my freedom
I need a little time.........
Funny how quick the milk turns sour, isn't it, isn't it ?
Your face has been looking like that for hours, hasn't it, hasn'tit?
Promises, promises turn to dust
Wedding bells just turn to rust
Trust into mis-trust
I need a little room
To find myself
I need a little space
To work it out
I need a little room
I need a little..........
Need a little room for your big head, don't ya, don't ya?
Need a little space for a thousand beds, won't you, won't you?
Lips that promise feel the worst
Tounge so sharp the bubble bursts
Just into un-just
I had a little time
To find the truth
I had a little room
To check whats wrong
I need a little time
I still love you
I need a little..........
Had a little time and you had a little fun, didn't ya, didn'tya?
Well you had yours do you think I had none, do ya, do ya?
The freedom that you wanted so bad
Is yours for good, I hope your glad
Sad into un-sad
I had a little time
To think it over
Had a little room
To work it out
I found a little courage
To call it off
Thanks for the encouragement everyone.
That song is spot on AF though whether I'll be strong enough to see it through is still up in the air.
Reading back my last post, I'm quite impressed with how strong I sound. I'm all wibbly and anxious in real life but I like the sound of the woman that I am on paper so I am going to visualise myself as that woman and plough on.
He has been texting me today asking to go for tea, I have ignored and have no intention of engaging whereas last week I would have (and did) go straight away. I spent the entire evening trying to be 'ideal' and even though it's just a week, I want to go back and shake myself!
Strength to strength!
Sad into un-sad (hopefully soon)!
It's all a matter of opinion and experience of course. But my dad cheated on my mum and did a very long drawn out 'dither' . The new woman 'won'. So you keep strong and look after yourself. There are lots of extremely selfish people out there. And also millions of potential decent partners too
Yes you ARE that strong!
You are doing brilliantly. Already you can see that you may want him (or rather, your old life) but you don't need him.
Keep working at it. New interests, new people. Keep him away. Don't reply to meaningless texts fishing to know where you are or what you're up to. They're about him, not you.
My crystal ball says that it won't be long before you're genuinely happy again - and I'll lay bets that it won't be with him
OP, sorry you're going through this.
Just wanted to mention something. He's probably lying when he says he is trying to decide between you. It's a common thing people in affairs do, they pretend that they are vacillating but really they are just waiting for their lover to make up their mind and keeping the wronged wife on the back burner for a safety net.
It's probably HER that's lukewarm about him/less available etc and therefore HER who holds the cards. If he had somewhere to go and she was serious about him then he wouldn't be living in a caravan.
Hi there YouMakeMeWanna
Wow, look at you! I didnt recognise you when I caught up with your thread. (BTW looks like my internet problem is, in fact, a wireless problem. Oh dear, somehow I think that will be harder for me to fix ...).
So his reaction to your standing your ground was bloody predictable, wasnt it? All I can say is your experience has massive echoes of mine. Every time I stood up to H and told him we were over he wanted me back. My theory is that he found the fleeting glimpse of the independent strong-willed woman he fell in love with appealing but then when I agreed to give it a go the sheer stress of me trying to glue all the broken bits together again (at the same time as finding new broken bits) turned me into a paranoid wreck that he didnt find as appealing as OW.
Do you know the most extraordinary thing I find is that these Hs seem to be following broadly the same scripts. Its pitiful to realise that all of these unfaithful Hs seem to be following their twitching dicks along the same path.
You were amazing to resist the desire to hold him and take him back; I really admire you for that. I took mine back umpteen times between March and June before I finally peeled the label off of my forehead saying mug. Its sad but true for me that every time I took him back and he lied AGAIN it chipped away at my love, but most importantly the respect. I can say hand on heart now I still love him but I do not respect him and I do not like him nor do I recognise the man.
Your post has got some blinding quotes in it. Ive no-one to stay faithful to. That was just brilliant, sheer genius. I promise you that a newbie will read your post and be inspired. Truly.
Remember and believe that you ARE strong because you have written some amazing words, and they are your words. It really does help to write stuff down and when youre having a conversation with other MNers it does have a strange effect on making you think differently about things or making you think more deeply in some way. I cant really describe it but it certainly helps me.
I know there are plenty of MNers who would shout at me for saying this but maybe you will be able to salvage your marriage (and if you can I envy you that) but I dont think that can be your call right now. Shoutyhamster is completely right in saying if he really wants you hell make the effort.
You describe yourself as pathetic right now; youre anything but pathetic and look what you wrote a few lines later: ^Ive got friendships Ive rediscovered, a business to run and a run to train for (which I did first read as a train to run for ...).
Now if you read that sentence on someone elses post you would not think they were pathetic. You would think they were in control.
Start the week as you mean to go on and stay in control. You are doing really really well.
OP, I am sorry you are going through this and that only after 5 months of marriage you are suffering.
My first H was a lying git and the marriage broke down very quickly but do you know after all the initial hurt, that he didn't seem that bothered to want to make a "go" of it, it was a blessed relief.
Like yourself I was young enough to look forward.
You will get over this, and you will be very happy and strong again, a lot sooner than you imagine.
My guess is that his apparent indisciveness is masking the fact that the OW is not so sure about him now he is free! (lets face it he hasn't got a very good track record in the fidelity stakes).
Do you think it would work if he did come back??
Look after yourself x
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