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Anyone come through an affair and survived the other side?

(25 Posts)
tryinmybest Sun 21-Aug-11 23:01:03

Recently found out H has been seeing someone else for a while. we have 2 DS 8 & 11 and up to las week I thought we doing really well. She works in his school and they started meeting after work to discuss the day/management blah blah and it went from there. He said he tried to end it many times because he was unhappy but it just became 'normal' He has said he never meant it to go on, had no intention of ever leaving etc and he has ended it because he he loves us all so much.
I love him and cant imagine being without him. Can it work? has it worked for you? or am I fooling myself and once a cheat ......

Gwink Mon 22-Aug-11 07:32:19

My only qualification on this subject comes from the fact that I have been where you are now. Mumsnet proved to be a lifeline to me and hopefully it will be for you too.

How did you find out about the affair - did he confess without any outside influence? Or did he get caught? That is quite important.

What is he proposing to do now? Is he offering to make changes by moving jobs. Is he offering to go to counselling?

These things will give you an indication about how serious he is about never going there again. Only you can decide whether you can forgive him and trust him again. Counselling would help with that, as would Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. It was recommended to me on here and DH and I have both read it, it is very helpful.

We are a few months down the road and though it was horrendous at the time, and I still get down-days I think in a bizarre way it kind of saved our relationship. We were sleepwalking towards separation and the shock of his affair woke us up to what we may be losing. Obviously he has had to do most of the changing but we are both in a better place.

What helped me to recover our relationship was the fact that other than one very good friend and our counsellor (and on here smile) I have not discussed this with anyone. It means that we have been able to heal our relationship without lots of other people picking at the wound.

I am sure you will get lots of support on here and I hope you can recover your relationship if that is what you decide you want.

Jemma1111 Mon 22-Aug-11 07:38:17

As Gwink says, it depends if your H has taken full responsibility for his affair and is prepared to do whatever it takes to make things right, i.e counselling etc.

If your H tries to sweep it under the carpet and wants you to forget then I'm afraid it doesn't bode well.

tryinmybest Mon 22-Aug-11 10:04:34

I found text messages on his phone. within about 10 mins of confronting him I knew 80% of everything - it just came pouring out. He cries constantly every night and says how stupid he's been but if I hadn't found his phone would he have carried on in sept like nothing had happened? He said he has spoken to her at length about it being over. I cant live without him, I cant do that to my kids but can I live with it hmm

tryinmybest Mon 22-Aug-11 10:10:02

Gwink - your comment about sleepwalking is so 'on the mark' apart from the big issue we have sat down and almost wrote a list of things we weren't happy about which were so small and yet so huge to the other person! I think we have realised how much we love eachother. Its just the excuses I believed that make me feel stupid and taken for a mug. If he goes into the kitchen Im looking to see if he has taken his phone with him!

PositiveAttitude Mon 22-Aug-11 10:26:08

It will take time. It wont be easy. BUT you can get through this. For me, forgiveness was the biggest thing. Once we had discussed it all.... and I mean ALL!! I needed to have an answer to everything I asked. Once I had that I knew I had to either move on alone or put it behind us and move on together.

I did not discuss this with any one either, just like Gwink. I am so glad I did not now. I could not have coped with other people's opinions. I needed to do it myself and deal with the consequences.

Mine was 13 years ago. I do not think about it now. We have had no repeats. Our marriage is strong. It has been tough and we have ahd ups and downs, but show me a 23 year marriage that hasn't!!!

Got to sign off now, but I will come back if you want to ask anything, or PM me if you prefer.

tryinmybest Mon 22-Aug-11 21:29:01

Thanks, it all helps. I know what I want to do and just hope its the right decision x

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 23-Aug-11 13:39:03

Another survivor here. Discovered my H's affair a few months ago, since then he has been doing everything he can to help us recover and has been answering all my questions, gone to counselling (individual and couple), read books (Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends is a good one) and we have talked a lot, spent quality time together etc.

I now think that we will be ok and that our marriage will be a stronger one.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 23-Aug-11 13:42:04

I have told RL friends - I have a close circle of female friends and they have been very supportive, offered to babysit the children so that H and I can go out etc. I don't think I have coped as well if I wasn't able to offload to them.

I have drawn the line at telling my family though - my mother idolises H and telling her will probably destroy their relationship.

tryinmybest Mon 05-Sep-11 13:48:40

thanks, my H is the best thing ever to my family and so telling them would not be any benefit. He is really trying hard, the prob we've got now is she wont take it that its over. she is still contacting him telling him how upset she is. He is telling me tho and I beleive him when he says he is not contacting her back. I do think we can get thro this but its him having another life behind my back I cant get my head round!

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 05-Sep-11 16:45:22

How did your H tell the OW its over?

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 05-Sep-11 16:48:39

I know what you mean about the fact that he had another life behind your back being hard to get round.

I found it very helpful comparing diaries with my H so that I could gain an understanding of what was really happening during the affair period (going back to when the OW first came on scene, when they started flirting, when it became physical and when/where they met etc). This timeline which took a while to come together was a huge step in my understanding of the affair story and I could then get things straight in my mind.

tryinmybest Mon 05-Sep-11 17:05:02

i found his phone and read her texts. At first he text back just said I knew. He phoned her then and said we were talking about it. Then I phoned her on his phone - dont know why I did it but I had the phone and the urge just took over! when we decided we wanted to carry on he had a long phone call with her and has met her once in work for about 10 mins. He said he always told her he loved me and would never leave.
ive tried to look back over my diary but 99% of the time he was 'at work'

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 05-Sep-11 18:12:27

You need to do the diary thing with him - ask him for dates etc.

Were you in the room when he call the OW to end it? It may be that he wasn't clear enough about wanting no contact at all etc.

tryinmybest Thu 08-Sep-11 18:34:03

tried to do the diary thing last night, it was probably the worst night ever. I cried, he cried, I felt sick, he was inconsolable at times I was liking picking at a scab. Thanks for the suggestion but dont think thats for us. we are both exhausted and have agreed we wont talk about it for a while which doesnt in any way mean its sorted but we need to get our heads sorted.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 08-Sep-11 18:41:32

Poor you, I know how traumatic it can be putting together the timeline - I spent an hour crying in the bath when I realised my H was in touch with OW during our weekend away in a romantic city. It made him realise just how incredibly selfish and twattish he was and that he had a lot of work to resolve his issues.

I hope you didn't offer any comfort to your H when he cried - its all his doing and he should be the one helping you.

tryinmybest Thu 08-Sep-11 20:35:39

I did comfort him, and he comforted me,it was heartbreaking. I love him and I believe him when he says he regrets it all. That doesnt mean everything is ok & rosey -far from it!
But I do love him and I couldnt just sit there while he poured his heart out

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 08-Sep-11 21:28:53

I must be a hard hearted bitch then, when my H cried, I was so mad that I just left him to it even though I love him.

Are you going to counselling or have you bought Not Just Friends?

lifeohlife Thu 08-Sep-11 21:34:28

it sounds to me that he made a mistake (people do) and is very much regretting it. It is incredibly hurtful but... think carefully before throwing it all away. People do recover after an affair...some relationships are stronger. People make huge mistakes... for all sorts of reasons... and this is not to excuse his deceit..but to understand where it came from.. and then..and only then..can his actions be addressed. Without the understanding (and most of this is his self-reflexivity that's needed but it may help you too to move fwd), he will learn no lessons.. he will not be able to prevent it happening again. Please try Relate... my sister's dh had an affair..it broke her heart..they had 2 young dc..they've mended it..she's tougher..lost innocence..but they are okay now..it's possible..make sure he goes to counselling ..Good luck..you sound lovely.. he's very lucky

ChitChattingaway Thu 08-Sep-11 22:08:07

You may recover from it, you may not. But unless you try you will never know if you could have. There is nothing to stop you walking away later if you realise that you just can't live with the affair.

Smart people can do really, really, stupid things.

Take each day as it comes, and remember that all you can do is try.

tryinmybest Fri 09-Sep-11 08:22:54

we will go to counselling we have agreed but not yet. we are still too emotional to get anything out of it we'd probably spend the hour crying! Ive asked him to think about why it happened, it just did - or I couldnt help it wont do! Im not ready to hear the answers yet so have told him Ill ask him when Im ready!

sheba2288 Fri 09-Sep-11 14:59:32

Hi Tryin. I don't post much, but I just wanted to to let you know that I am a 'survivor' of my H's affair. But by no means has it been an easy road.
I, too, have the constant reminder of the OW as she works with H. And it is only very recently that my H has made sure barriers between them are strictly put up. For a while, I felt that he still had an emotional attachment to her and it really hurt me.
Sometimes we are so shattered by our H's betrayal that we can't think straight. Your part on your OP about your H never really thinking he would leave, etc. It touched a nerve with me, because at the end of the day, your H and mine still actually betrayed us in the most hurtful manner possible. What I'm trying to say is don't believe all he's saying. It may be what he wants you to think.
In our case, immediate counselling was crucial. It just things out in the open. Everyone's different.
Most importantly think about yourself and your DCs.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 09-Sep-11 15:16:42

I wasn't ready for couples counselling for several weeks either (in my case I felt detached from H and didn't want to have much to do with him as I was so hurt, disgusted and angry) but H went on his own as he needed to sort out this thoughts. He said he couldn't understand why he had the affair, said it just happened but the counselling helped him learn how and why it happened.

I would really recommend getting Not Just Friends as it describes so well how a friendship becomes an affair and how/why you would be feeling the things you are experiencing:

http://www.shirleyglass.com/reflect_infidelity.htm

Good luck.

tryinmybest Fri 09-Sep-11 23:53:18

SHEBA -the 1 thing Ive read over the past few weeks that hits home most is 'everyone is different'
I have drank a fair bit tonight so sorry if I drone on or repeat!
Madabout thanks for all your comments you have helped. I hope you dont really think you are a hard hearted bitch, just cos you didnt react the same as others doesnt mean anything.
I originally think I came on here looking for people who said once a cheater always a cheater, and not finding that was a releif.
GWINK your post is so me and POS.ATT I want to be you
I will read the shirley glass book and possibly ask a few more questions but I cant analyze this anymore. Its happened, its shit, it makes the past 8 months of my life change, I love my kids I love him Ive got 2 choices make this work or dont x

alittlebitresignedtoitall Sat 10-Sep-11 12:07:10

God, reading this post and responses has brought something back to me from my split with my long term partner after his infidelity. (Was 9 years ago now.) He came back and said he wanted it to work it out but what I saw in him was his heart breaking, not because of the hurt he caused me but because of his split with her. We didn't make it; he went back to her, they only lasted a few months and then we all ended up on our own with several hearts broken. When I saw him several years later he admitted that he very much regretted the affair and leaving but by that time I was more content on my own as I realise looking back that neither of us was happy and the affair was a symptom of a broken down relationship. Sorry to post this but sometimes, there is another reason for the tears and they may not always be about regret and the hurt they have caused their wives and partners. It's wise for you to be aware that he may need to mourn the ending of his relationship with OW for you both to move on together.

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