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.
how do you forgive and forget? keep falling apart!(43 Posts)
to cut a long story short, DP and i have been together 17 years , 3 dd's 11, 8, 5. found out in november he had been seeing a 19 yr old barmaid from his work for the last 4 months and worse still she lived in the next street to us. I answered his phone and it was her, she thought he was single and was as shocked as me. I couldnt speak to her properly as i was with my 11yr old at the time and she was listening. He ended things with me as he said although he had never stopped loving me, he had fallen in love with her too, and he had been "having his cake and eating it". He said we couldnt be together as I woould never get over what he had done and would end up hating him. He stayed in our house cos he had nowhere else to go and we didnt want the kids upset so close to christmas. He said he wasnt with me or her and needed to sot his head out. Then he must've crept round her cos they got back together but he still stayed at home. He finished with her after christmas saying he was too confused over her and me and she moved away. We decided to try to make a go of things cos we both still love each other. Problem is I'm still so confused , hurt and angry and still keep breaking down and crying all the time. I just want to be back to normal, its getting me down so much I'm so sick of feeling this way. How do all you survivors get past all the pain and move on? Please help! Any advice would be gratefully received!
I don't know.
But bumping for you and sending a hug.
I'm no expert but would hate for this to go unanswered! So sorry this has happened.
Have you thought about going to counselling both together and separately? Your DP's head seems to be elsewhere and counselling may be a way to find out the root cause of why he did what he did (not that I'm excusing him at all by the way!) and may also be a way for you to start to come to terms with whats happened. It may also give you ways of how can both move on together.
Its all still quite recent so must still be very raw so don't be so hard on yourself and don't expect to be able to get over the anger and hurt so quickly plus I think he should see the hurt he's caused and you shouldn't feel like you have to block your emotions.
Like I say I'm no expert at all so sorry if what I've written is of no relevance!
believe me, he's seen how much pain he caused me, sobbing hysterically, begging him to stay, smashing plates and telling him exactly what i wanted to do to him and ow, the whoe gamut of horrible emotions! i sometimes felt so much pain and anger i could hardly breathe, couldnt eat, couldnt sleep, panic attacks, etc etc. Really didnt think I could go on at some points, especially the times i knew he was with her in the next street whilst i was at hime wrapping christmas presents with my little girls. Your're right, it is still sso raw, and at the moment all i can think is "this time last year he was with her and i was totally oblivious, how could i have been so stupid and blind not to see what was going on under my nose? i was actually pleased for him that he was (supposedly) going out with friends from work because he never went out much, I'd iron his clothes and merrily kiss him goodbye and he was JUST GOING INTO THE NEXT STREET TO SH*G a teenager!!!! We've been together since we were both 20 so he's all i've ever known and i cant believe he would put me through this pain. Im so sad. Its killed my confidence.Im now insecure, paranoid, needy, and I just want to get my happy self back again. Im so stupid, I thought we were happy together, and he says he was happy and in love with me, he was just flattered with the attention and it went too far as he fell in love with her and he said it was like he was living two different lives. I love him and I hate him. God, Im so pathetic and confused. I always said i would never take him back if he did this to me and he knew this. sorry rant over!
Have you had any sort of outside help, like counselling? It might be useful for you to talk to someone impartial on your own, and it should help you rebuild your self-esteem.
It's natural to still be devastated and in pieces - after all, he betrayed your trust (and he didn't choose you and your family unit straight-away either ).
Don't expect too much of yourself, you will have set-backs and a need to retread what happened - but this should get less often over time. He needs to demonstrate that he can be trustworthy from now on, by letting you know where he is and being totally open with you - he should also give you loads of time and patience to heal, if you are going to get through this together.
Bumping this up - I know the pain you must be feeling now.
What is your H doing now to help you both recover? Has he stopped all contact with OW? Is he being open and honest in his answers to your questions? Is he going to counselling? etc. Remember that its actions not words you are looking for if you want to see his commitment.
Get the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass and look at this site - it's a bit american but helped me make sense of a lot of things and to realise my feelings and reactions were perfectly normal, look under articles.
Firstly, you need to put yourself first and do things to make you feel good even if it's only having a lovely soak in the bath, treat yourself to a new hairdo and makeup, clothes etc. You have been "hit by a bus" and need some intensive care. Arrange some counselling for yourself and then some couples counselling if you want. Your H needs to arrange some counselling for himself to understand why he did want he did - the affair was about him and his issues etc. You both had a responsibility to the marriage but he was solely responsible for the affair.
Obviously your H needs to cut all contact with OW, you need free access to his mobile (check for 2nd secret mobile - my DH had one), email a/cs, facebook (my DH deleted his profile so OW had no means of contacting him) etc. Your H should expect you to check his movements etc, it takes a long time for "safety" to be re-established.
Good luck - remember the choice is now yours, if you feel you cannot get past this, that's ok. It's been over 2 years since DH's affair, it has been a long, hard road but we are still together.
thanks so very much for your replies. ow moved away and changed jobs when he told her he was staying with his family, and he assures me they have no contact, he deleted all of her txts and photos and no. from his mobile,( I watched) and threw away the xmas presents she bought him. He doesn't bother with facebook, and we share the same email account. At the moment obviously it is very very difficult for me to trust him, not helped by the fact that he works 5 nights a week in a nightclub, so i know she could pop in to see him whenever she wants, as it is a public place, whereas i have to be at home with the kids, wondering what he's up to
We did talk a lot at first, but then it was almost like he was getting annoyed with my constant emotional outbursts, and seems to have clammed up, saying why do i have to analyse everything? I dont know whether its because he feels bad when i get upset and i'm just reminding him that he's the cause of my distress? He wouldnt go to counselling as he hates talking about emotional stuff and doesnt believe in counselling, and I actually half trained to be a counsellor as part of my psychology degree, so I have tried to get him to open up in the past. This all goes against my nature as Im usually very level headed and logical and realistic, so I dont know what to do with all the hurt and anger. I just feel conflicted within myself.
I'm so sorry honey. I think it's vital that your H realises that he needs to do everything that YOU need him to, even if it's uncomfortable. That means he needs to talk about it when you want to, and he needs to agree to go to counselling if that's what you want (and I would highly recommend it). He did this and now he needs to do everything in his power to fix it, otherwise I don't think you will be able to move on from this.
It's been about 8 months now since the two of you decided to work things out? I think you will feel very bad for a long time, but it should beginning to be (just going by personal experience) more of a dull ache with occasional outbursts (sounds like a weather report!). The fact that you say you're still upset all the time makes me think he isn't doing everything he can to make things right.
Hi Honey, have you read any of the other affair threads on here? They would be so useful for you, especially those that WWIFN was on. She used to say it was so important for the husband to totally own up to his wrong doing and do all he can to help you. That would include counselling. I really believe you can't do this on your own. Good luck, sounds horrible.
Honey, so sorry for what you're going through. Been there myself- it's absolutely heartbreaking! Can't offer any good advice atm but, rest assured, our thoughts are with you. Take care!
seachange, love the way you refer to a weather report!!! thats just how i feel! Changeable with occasional showers and possible storms on the horizon!! Im really not as bad as i was, so i know in my heart i suppose things will get better. Im not an emotional wreck everyday, i can eat and sleep (most days) now. Its just sometimes I can be ok for a bit then for eg he'll get a txt and i feel that horrible sick feeling, or hear a certain song Rhianna only girl in the world was out at the time and it just sends me into floods and all the aw feelings come flooding back.[cry] I suppose i expected to be getting over it a bit better by now. its just a miserable existence as i was so happy before. Strangely in some ways we are getting long much better , and are happier, but im scared to let all the anger etc go in case i become lax and dont notice if it happens again. does that sound a bit crazy?
Nope, you sound perfectly normal, and like you're doing really well considering. I'm glad things aren't desperate all the time, that's a good sign. When I first found out I cried nearly all day every day for about 3 months, so it's good you've moved on from that stage. I'm sure your H could still be doing more to help you though.
Triggers are a bitch, I feel exactly the same about H's phone. Not sure when, if ever, that will stop. I guess if he's doing everything to reassure you in other ways eventually they will be just a mild annoyance (I hope!).
You need to process your anger. Counselling will help, and also I've started writing to H during the day when he's at work (the worst time for me). I scream and shout (ie write all in capitals!) and swear and tell him I hate him etc. Then I leave it and if I still feel strongly about something I'll talk to him in the evening or the next day when I've calmed down. That works quite well, more often than not I'll just delete it.
Counselling is good (we're only 4 sessions in) for lots of reasons. A) they've been able to draw H out a bit - they know what questions to ask to get him to talk. B) they're able to give practical tips to help us communicate - one is for H to tell me back what I've said when I'm trying to tell him how I feel about something. That helps because it makes me feel like he's listening, it shows if he's really got it, and it should make him feel more what I'm going through (we're working on that). And C) the counsellor is trying to get him to realise how much work he has to do to change. At first we thought we were going to help me move on and forgive, but it's just as much if not more about him.
PS where is WWIFN? she is so missed. Definitely do a search for her posts.
I'm wondering when the text message ping will stop causing me to tense up.
Healing takes time - I still have bad days years after. Having said that our relationship is a zillion times better - much more open and forgiving of the small things.
Countingto10 - you found out about the same time as me. Your posts and WWIFN's were what got me through. Thanks.
Thanks Anifrangapani - it is a very long, hard road to travel isn't it . For me, going past the places I know they went and songs that were being played at the time of discovery like "Painted it Red" and "Broken Strings" are the things that make my stomach lurch still.
<<Thanks maandpa, I've been away for ages! Heard it was a bit nasty >>
thanks so much everyone for responding, its horrible to know that so many other ladies have been through the same thing, i didnt realise it was possible to feel so much physical pain from being hurt. Every time he said he loved her i felt like i was actually being stabbed through the heart. Even writing that sounds so melodramatic but thats how it felt. I feel like ive constantly got a knot in my chest. I hate him so so much for causing this pain. But i love him too much to let him go. I told him i wished i didnt love him cos it would be so much easier in a way if he left; i wouldnt have the panic of whether he'll do it again, what he's up to, whether he loves me,etc. But when it came to the crunch i was devastated that he wanted to leave. This is the main part of my problem. I feel like such a mug for wanting him to stay after doing this to me as ive always said and believed that if he was unfaithful there would be no second chances. this is why he says he split up with me and went to he cos he never thought i could get over what he'd done, he'd ruined our relationship beyond repair, and if we stayed together we'd be toxic and end up hating each other. but it hurt me so much more that he didnt immediately fall on his knees begging me to stay with him, he went to her. he said with me it was like the whole dinner set had been smashed to smithereens, but with her it was more like a chipped mug. How about that for an analogy? At first i felt a bit sorry for her cos he's only 19, and as fr as she was concerned she'd bagged a handsome older man in a high up position .she said to me "but its not just a fling , its real relationship". she really didnt have a clue i existed. He'd told her we'd split up 6 months earlier and he lived with his mum! Once it all came out and I found out they'd got back together i really hated her, because now she was well aware he'd left a wife and 3 kids but she still pursued him. It gets to me that he must have said all kinds to her to get her back. i read a txt where he said to her "i should have looked after your heart better" . It made me feel sick. Its all so raw still i dont know what to do with the anger? Im not naturally an angry person and rarely lose my temper so im not used to it. Sorry if this is a ramble. Its good to get it off my chest , i suppose. my head is spinning, cos my thoughts about all this are jumbled! Its hard for us to properly talk cos he works nights and i work days and in between theres 3 screetching terrors under our feet; dont you just love summer hols?!
Blimey, she is sooo much younger than him. Nothing to add advice wise honey, but thinking of you all the same.
honey, i'm exactly where you are at 9 months down the line and it's still so raw.. it catches me at a moments notice and then I break down and it feels like d-day all over again. I reel over the details, the known and the unknown, and it tears me up inside that even though he swears he's told me everything, he could still be lying.. who's to say i'm not still being taken for a fool? I hate doubting him, I trusted him implicitly before and I want that feeling back. I can't offer you encouraging words because i'm still broken myself and have to battle with my thoughts every day whilst carrying on as 'normal' for the sake of my children. No-one around me understands how I feel.. and I feel so alone. Every word you have spoken could have come from myself, I understand every emotion you are feeling, I feel them, I'm feeling them now. He's shred me to pieces and scarred me for life and I don't know how to help myself heal, I feel like i'll always be consumed by the hurt, being hurt from the one person who promised to love me and always protect me, my best friend. I feel so angry but I don't want to, I was a happy person - always the optimist. Not anymore. I hate the uncertainty of my life now because before I knew where we were, who he was, who I was. All I am now is a broken mess. I'm so sorry that we're going through this, if only it could be wished away xx
Okay, here's your problem.
By the sounds of things, you don't actually know that he chose to be with you because he loves you and didn't want to lose you. Is it possible that you haven't got the whole truth about how their relationship ended? Is it possible that she dumped him and moved away - and this prompted his decision to stay in the marriage?
This would explain a lot. He has never fought to keep you and it almost sounds as though he feels you should be grateful that he stayed. How much respect has he got for you, I wonder? This really doesn't sound like a man who is scared that he might lose his marriage because of his behaviour. This doesn't sound like a man who is truly sorry.
This is further backed up by his behaviour since. You say he won't go to counselling? You say he reacts angrily when you raise the issue that is absolutely consuming your life - and says "why do you have to analyse everything?" You say he won't talk about emotions.
And to boot, he works in a nightclub 5 nights a week and by the sounds of things, intends to continue working at the very place that was centre stage for his affair.
No wonder you're in bits. You don't have to forgive you know - and you don't have to stay in this marriage. It doesn't sound as though he has done one thing to fight to stay in it either. Rather, he gets irritated by you.
You are right to be analytical. The fact that he doesn't want to re-visit all this and analyse his own behaviour means that there's every chance this will happen again. No analysis means no lessons learnt.
Now being blunt, either you roll over and accept this, along with what sounds like a total lack of respect for you, or you start getting tough and insisting on change.
hi windsortides. I had a lot of doubt that he was with me for the right reasons, and thought exactly the same, she'd got sick of him so he came to me. However, i did read texts from her saying to him she understands why he wants to do the right thing by his family and she wont contact him again. It was by no means the easier option for him to be with me, I have been like a raving lunatic . He knew he could still see the kids everyday as he picks them up from school as i am in work. but he says he loves me. we did talk a lot but ended up going round in circles and i just couldn't stop crying and getting angry so it wasnt really getting me anywhere. he doesn't know what to do anymore to help me. he knows he's devastated me, he's promised he could never put me through this again after seeing how hurt i am, he's being more loving and affectionate, and we're much closer than we were before. he asks me "what more can i say? him to be out of work.what can i do?" and i just cant vocalise my feelings cos there's so much going on in my head i cant get it all out and its all confused. i never asked him to leave his job cos there's no others in the same position and i only work p/t so we cant afford him to be out of work.
I told him yesterday that we really need to sit down and properly talk things out as i have so much to get off my chest and i've been writing down things i want explanations of etc so its just a matter of finding the right time cos every time i try to talk about it i just end up crying, so i need to be calm. not that its an excuse, but he does find it extremely difficult to talk about his feelings , (childhood issues), but you are right, i need to get this sorted out one way or another, cos i cant carry on like this.
takemeawayfromhere, your post made me cry, sending you a big squashy hug!
(( )) its exactly how i feel, i am totally heartbroken and cant see any way out...
i even said to him i so wish you'd never done this to me, and he said he did too . i just want it all to go away so much. like someone could suck the pain out like snake venom. no one understands what im going through, i never thought i could be this sad for this long. all i could say when i found out was "you've ruined everything" all i had envisioned for the future was wiped out and i felt like our whole life together was a lie and had been a waste of time. how do i know he really wants me? how will i ever believe a word he says? i feel like such a mug for trusting him and for still wanting him after he's done this to me. i just want to take my head off like wurzel gummidge to have some peace from it. i dont know what will make me feel better or if i ever will. im so angry with him that this has left me such an emotional wreck, that im full of anger and hate and suspicion. i feel pathetic for wanting constant apologies and reassurances. then angy that hes made me feel pathetic. im such a fucking mess, i just dont know what to do, i just want it all to go away 
You may forgive. But the only way that you will forget is when the damage has been healed. You can't do this healing yourself. He has to do it. You know that you have forgotten when you remember more good things that he has done than bad.
I guess what I'm saying is that you can do the forgiving bit. But he has to make you forget. If he doesn't then you have to walk in order to heal.
Join the discussion
Please login first.