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I just can't decide what to do

(42 Posts)
TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 06:27:00

I've lurked on here for a while, but I think it's time to post now, will try to be brief ...
Have been married a long time, 4 dcs, youngest now 16.

About 7 years ago I caught H having an internet affair, by finding a 'live' chat window. At the time, I didn't know that 'internet affairs' existed, or 'emotional affairs'. I was extremely shocked and hurt but when confronted (immediately) he claimed that she'd never spoken to him like that before and agreed he would stop talking to her.

A few days later he said he'd done the deed. Things hadn't been good between us leading up to this discovery. I did a little detective work, found chat logs and bascially he was lying, I was devastated. Without telling him about the logs, I said to him that I thought there was more to it than he was saying. He then confessed all.

He'd 'met' her through one of those sites for married people who want affairs. He also said he'd had text girlfriends for around 6 or 7 years previous to that, i.e. 14 years ago. He was extremely upset about it. He said he'd never met any of the txt gfs in real life, nor the www OW. He said it wasn't real, it was just on the www and he wasn't going to meet anyone in real life.

Weirdly, we then fell in love all over again, behaving like a couple of teenagers. However, during that time (about 2 years), he refused to cut contact with www OW and did go on to meet her in real life, with my reluctant agreement and his promise that he would tell me when he met her so I didn't spend all my time worrying that he was with her. He told me the first time they met, but not the 2nd (I found out and went ballistic). He met her a couple of times after that -just for lunch, he says they didn't have sex and I believe him (for reasons that I can't go into here).

She seemed to fade away, then about 4 years ago (I think) I caught him txting another woman, he'd met her in a forum that he uses a lot. Again I was really hurt, but knowing that the other one had come to nothing, dealt with it slightly better. Again he went on to meet her in real life. I asked to meet her myself hoping that it might stop me worrying about what was going on. She agreed, she said they were just friends, we got on very well.

Sometime during all this, I had also found out that he had profiles on quite a lot of those websites for married people to have affairs. Bascially his profiles said that he was happily married, loved me, didnt want to leave, but was looking for extra marital sex. I was really unhappy about this and he told me at some point that he'd stopped using them.

Around a year ago, I found an email, quite by chance (too painful to keep detecting), affectionate from yet another woman. When I asked him about it, she'd contacted him through one of the websites he said he stopped using. This was crunch point for me becaue he'd told me he'd stopped using them. Before this, more or less, he'd told me the truth about things (as far as I know). I said I was going to move out for a while, I felt humiliated, stupid and I wanted to know if I could function as a person on my own (I lived at home until I got married, so have always been with him). This was to be a temporary separation for around 3 to 6 months.

Before I moved out, we had a long discussion, he says he can't stop pursuing other women and doesn't want to, he thinks he may want to sleep with someone else, but is not sure about this. However, he says he loves me, I'm 'the one', he wants to stay with me and wouldn't ever leave me for any of them. He's a kind man, he's loving towards me, when he's not sad and depressed about the whole situation (which is quite often) and I'm 99% sure he won't leave me and will look after me. I believe that he genuinely wants to make me happy, but he's addicted to this pursuit of women. I'm just exhausted by all this, as is he, I said he could sleep with other women if that's what he really wants. I asked him how he would feel if I did the same and at first he said he wouldn't mind, then he said he would mind, but he would understand why I felt I needed to.

At the moment, I live about 10 mins walk from home. I call in at home most days to make sure DS4 is OK (DD1 and DS2 left home now, DD3 at home but rarely there). I make a meal most days. I see H nearly every day, I mostly stay over at the weekend and we have been on a couple of short breaks. He's still loving and kind towards me (when not depressed), I have kind of 'withdrawn' and I find it quite difficult to be emotionally close to him which is breaking my heart. I've been living on my own for 6 months now and I need to find some sort of resolution to this. I think that I want to move back home, I miss the kids, but I think if I do that I will need to ask him to leave. I can't bear the thought of splitting properly, but the anxiety and worry about what he's doing is really not good for me and he won't be open about it because it upsets me and he hates all the emotional trauma.

If only I could find a way to deal with what he's doing everything would be OK. I know you will probably all tell me just to dump him, but I feel I have such a lot to lose sad

kunahero Thu 06-Oct-11 06:43:39

You say you have such a lot to lose.

I'd have to disagree. You have so much to gain by leaving completely.

Your H must think all his christmasses have arrived at once. IMO he is taking the pee. You look after the house, cook him meals, go away for breaks with him and he gets to 'see' other women with your blessing? Sorry but you are being taking for a mug. He doesnt want to make you happy he just wants what he can get and not give a shit about you.

Your DC have pretty much already left home so they wont see much of a change and surely they would want a happy, contented mother rather than an unhappy set of parents.

Kick this selfish git into touch and get yourself your life back.

good luck

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 06:50:50

kuna - I don't do anything in the house, they do it and we have a cleaning lady. He doesn't want me to cook meals, in fact sometimes he gets quite angry when I do. I cook them mainly for my son and myself.
He may be selfish, but I know he loves me. He has a very addictive personality and low self esteem, pursuing other women makes him feel better, he says he doesn't want it to go anywhere

kunahero Thu 06-Oct-11 06:55:42

Exactly. It makes him feel better! No thought for how it makes you feel. You say you know he loves you, IMo if you love someone then you dont do that to them,

He needs help.

You need to distance yourself from him but not dc of course.

Naetha Thu 06-Oct-11 06:56:41

If he suffers from depression, has he sought help for it? That might help sort out the underlying cause for this excapism/pursuit of women.

yummybunny Thu 06-Oct-11 07:06:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 07:41:56

Naetha - he has suffered from depression in the past, but I don't think he's actually suffering with 'proper' depression at the moment.
I think the underlying cause is his low self esteem, but I don't think he will be willing to get help for it, presumably because its just all too painful.
Kuna - he has 'every' thought about how it makes me feel, that's why he gets so sad about it all, he knows what he's doing is wrong.

If I force him to choose, he will choose to live alone.

I have to go to work now, may be able to check in at lunchtime, otherwise, be back tonight, thanks for the advice so far, I really appreciate it.

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 18:00:12

Hi - any 'teatime' advice?
really appreciate your input to this

catsrus Thu 06-Oct-11 18:10:51

A friend gave me some good advice when I was going to leave exH due to his behaviour - she said I needed to "reclaim the heart" of the family. He put himself on the edges of family life - not you. You need to be there with your children - he is the one who is effectively leaving the family unit. I don't think the current situation is fair on you or your DCs - have you told them why you have left? The truth is important in your relationship with them. Forget about him.

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 18:17:48

Hi cats, thank you, yes that is good advice especially as H has always put himself on the edge of family life.
I only have 2 DC left at home now, and I have only talked to my eldest DD about why I left, but it just doesn't seem fair to involve her (or the other DC) in our problems, she is very supportive of me, she has a wise head on her shoulders. Daren't tell elder DS, I think he would be very angry with his dad, he doesn't get on that well with his dad a lot of the time and everything is so 'black and white' when you are young sad

buzzskeleton Thu 06-Oct-11 18:25:45

He would choose and does choose not to have an exclusive relationship with you. He is 'sad' that he hurts you and understands that you're suffering, but he's not sad enough to stop or seek help.

He doesn't care enough about you. You're pouring time, love and energy into a relationship with someone who doesn't reciprocate.

I don't honestly think that it would be right for you to try to teach yourself not to care if he's looking elsewhere. Open relationships can work, but it's not what you want. Of course you can't feel emotionally close to him - it would be madness to lay your heart out again for him to trample over again. Get yourself some counselling, move back in and move him out.

Just possibly out of the family home he'll realise what he's losing properly and do a u-turn. Currently, he has no fucking reason to.

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 18:43:30

Thanks buzz. We did discuss having an open relationship a while ago, at first he was up for it. I investigated how it works and bascially, you both have to be totally open about who you are seeing, not get emotionally involved etc. etc., I though this might possible work - at least I would know what he was doing and not be constantly wondering and worrying. But the next time we spoke about it, he'd changed his mind. I'm assuming he'd looked into it as well and didn't like the 'openness' bit.

I just wish I could bury my head in the sand and not care sad

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Thu 06-Oct-11 18:44:15

by the way, am going out now, but will be back later this eve, thanks again for all the input x

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Fri 07-Oct-11 08:02:03

Really sad this morning, had an odd text from H while I was out last night saying that he 'may be out' tonight (last night I had txtd to say I was going straight out from work and that I'd see him tomorrow).

It's odd because he never goes out, he hardly has any friends in RL, so I immediately assumed he must be going to meet someone, i.e. an OW. I txtd back 'All night?' and 'Was going to stay over' and got no reply. The lack of reply really fucked with my head and spoilt my evening (I'd gone to see a band that H does not particularly like on my own).

So instead of going back to 'my house' after the band, I went back home to talk to him. He acted really weird, first it seemed like he was trying to deny he sent the txt, so I read it out to him, and my reply. He claimed not to have seen my reply. I asked him what he meant by 'may be out' and he said he didn't know ??? He'd had quite a lot to drink. Then he seemed to get angry and seemed to imply that I was saying it was ok for me to go out and not him, this isn't the case. I explained that because he never goes out, I assumed he was meeting someone. I can't remember his response to that, but it ended up with him saying that he was fed up of coming home expecting me to be there and finding out at the last minute that I'd gone out. To be fair, I do tend to go out on impulse, so never give him any notice if I'm going out. He got really upset about it. I told him that I had no idea he found it a problem and asked why he hadn't said anything before. He just went quiet and said he didn't want to be in a relationship with anyone any more (he often says that). It made me so sad to see him so upset. I just don't understand what goes on his head, if it's that important to him that I'm there, why does he want to chase OW? and why doesn't he tell me when stuff I do upsets him?

Anyway, on reflection this morning, I think msot of what he said was just a fabrication. I think he has probably kind of arranged to meet someone, he wasn't expecting to see me last night once I'd said I was going out, so me turning up put him on the spot and he was just trying to wriggle out of telling me what he was doing. But I could be way off the mark here, just so confused, so tired of crying over all this sad

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 08:46:22

From what you've said, I can't see much cause to diagnose low self-esteem as the symptoms you've described present as a case of chronic long-term selfish bastarditis for which the only cure is a painful (for him) operation to remove him from the family home so that you and dc will be free of having to nurse his self-absorption.

Fortunately, this operation can be carried out without need of a surgeon. In fact, you can do it yourself by filling out a divorce petition online, or seek the aid of a solicitor who specialises in family law.

However, before you begin to scrub up, you're best advised to act on the excellent advice given by catsrus to move yourself back to the heart of the home without further ado so that the patient is made aware that your patience has run out.

Any chance he could move into the place you're currently occupying so that he's free to pursue his 'addiction' (picks self up from floor after being convulsed with laughter at the sheer gall of the twunt) in peace?

You've allowed this man to treat you as a doormat, and you've provided him with a chain to your heart that he can jerk whenever he damn well pleases - and doesn't it just please him to pull it?

Get smart and get tough, honey. It's the only way of curing yourself of your addiction to him and your resultant willingness to believe all of the crap he's been telling you for so long.

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Fri 07-Oct-11 09:09:52

thanks izzy.
It's all so hard to 'judge' his behaviour from the inside (where I am) sad
Yes he probably could move here for short term, but I'm quite worried that he won't actually leave if I move back home, I don't think I'm ready to file for divorce, it's a big step

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 09:21:39

Honey, put yourself back at the heart of the home where you belong and tell him that if he doesn't agree to move out you'll find a solicitor who'll make him - and FGS act as if you mean it otherwise your head is going to be even more screwed by him and his ludicrous antics than it is now.

BTW, printing off a copy divorce petition, filling it out, and giving it to him is NOT a big step, but it may be the first step to you taking back your power and putting an end to the torment he's been putting you through for far too long.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 09:34:23

March right back into your home today, tell the twunt that his shenanigans last night have finally broken the camel's back and you're not putting up with any of his crap any more.

Tell him that if wants to pursue other women he can move into your place or another place now because he's not going to be engaging in sleazy liaisons with bored housewives and/or committing adultery while he's in the family home.

Frankly, he's not fit to live with your dc and if he refuses to stop his sordid pursuit of extra-marital sex and refuses to live elsewhere, tell him that you're going to hold a family conference so that the dc are made aware of what has been going on for far too long and the unhappiness he's caused you.

Grow some, honey and learn how to play poker to win.

tallwivglasses Fri 07-Oct-11 09:40:18

No advice to add - izzy and others have said it all. But I just wanted to add how angry I am that you've suffered from this prolonged torture - your dc have suffered too.

Of course the fuckwit didn't want an open relationship. It wasn't the openness that worried him, it was the thought of you being with someone else, someone better, who'd treat you with a modicum of respect!

"It made me so sad to see him so upset." - He's playing you, Tired, can't you see that?

What a selfish, inadequate, horrible excuse for a man. Low self-esteem my arse.

You're the one with low self-esteem, otherwise you wouldn't let this drunken twat walk all over you.

I'm sorry, Tired, I'm fuming. You come across as a good person and you don't deserve this.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 09:49:02

Of course the fuckwit didn't want an open relationship. It wasn't the openness that worried him, it was the thought of you being with someone else, someone better, who'd treat you with a modicum of respect!

Print twg's words off, trace them onto a cushion, and get cross-stitching.
By the time you,ve finished you will, hopefully, believe them because every word is true.

buzzskeleton Fri 07-Oct-11 12:37:10

You know he did that whole text crap to fuck with your head, don't you? He didn't like that you were out having fun, so he pressed your buttons and spoilt your evening.

Get your home back, get him out, show him what life without you, the kids and the family home will be. You can start the divorce process and still change your mind, you know.

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Fri 07-Oct-11 14:04:04

thanks everyone, I am listening, at work at lunchtime tho, so can't really think too much about it at the moment.
I hear what you are saying, but he really isn't that bad a person apart from this woman chasing thing. He's intelligent, kind, funny and generous, also very introspective (think thats the right word).

TWG - yes, he probably was playing me, but that doesn't mean he wasn't upset, he didn't know where I'd gone, or who with. I should probably have told him, but I didn't because I'm just struggling with the whole situation.

izzy - it's the open-ness thing for himself that he doesn't want, he wants it to be private. He has said that I can do the same as he wants to do, i.e. have a relationship with someone else. He initially said he wouldn't mind, but when pressed, said that he would mind, but he would understand why I would need to do it.

buzz - yes he probably did, for the same reason as I gave TWG above (I didn't give him any info).

I'm not going to defend him too much, because I don't want to make everyone on here angry with me !

Familyguyfan Fri 07-Oct-11 14:26:30

I hope I'm not going to be rude but I fear I might. You've had some great advice here but keep telling everyone that he's really a nice guy, just a bit troubled, a bit depressed. Try this for size- we can see him for what he is. You can't! He is taking you for a ride. He does as he likes, and has done for years, while you are suppose to check all your plans with him so he doesn't get upset. It's a shame he didn't think about your feelings when he was engaging on-line with various women. Remember, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Move home and kick him out. If you can't divorce him yet, emotionally separate from him. This isn't doing you any good, and I can't imagine your children like it much either.

I should point out this is the first time I've ever suggested someone leave their partner on here. I am not a serial 'leave the bastard' person. My only slight consolation is that in reality, he has already left you. Sorry!

buzzskeleton Fri 07-Oct-11 15:14:24

Why should you tell him where you are and what you're doing? You have moved out of your home, because of his dishonesty, his deceit, his cheating, his refusal to change. He doesn't have the right to check up on you. Don't feel guilty about not keeping him updated with every little move of yours, he has absolutely no compunction about keeping secrets himself.

Xales Fri 07-Oct-11 15:19:58

I agree he was totally playing you.

You had gone out alone to see a band he wasn't keen on to enjoy alone.

How much enjoyment did you have after his text? My guess none. He completely, totally and utterly and deliberately ruined your evening with a single text.

Why? Because you are not allowed to have a life, fun or any pleasure in his opinion.

What a selfish bastard.

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