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My husband has been having an affair and is leaving me

(829 Posts)
DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 02:19:56

I can't believe I'm writing this. 2 DD's youngest 6 months. Been going on 2 yrs on and off. He loves her. I'm devastated. What am I going to do? He told me at 10pm so I haven't told anyone in RL yet.

izzyizin Mon 08-Oct-12 02:25:45

When is he proposing to leave?

DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 02:26:03

Tomorrow. I am so scared

izzyizin Mon 08-Oct-12 02:30:10

Don't be scared - there'll be plenty ready to hold your hand here.

Do you have supportive family members/friends living nearby?

Has he given any reason why he hasn't left earlier.. Why didn't he leave before you had another dc?

deleted203 Mon 08-Oct-12 02:30:44

I am so, so sorry to hear this. I know you must feel absolutely devastated and the only thing I can offer is to tell you that you will cope and that in time it will get easier. Being deserted by someone you love (and I've been there) is like a bereavement and you will need time to work through the different stages of shock, numbness, anger, pain, until you finally come to acceptance and the realisation that life still holds happiness for you. I know it's unlikely that you will sleep tonight, but please tell someone in RL as soon as possible tomorrow morning and ask for their help and support. My ex deserted me when I was 7 months pregnant with DD3 (others were aged 1 and 3) but 16 years down the line I am married to a wonderful man, and far happier than I ever was with ex. The main thing that got me through the first year was the fact that I had to focus on the children and couldn't allow myself to fall apart entirely. Although I did plenty of crying at night, the day times I had to just block it all out and focus on the practicalities of life and what dcs needed. I hope you get the support you need from family and friends to get you through this.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 08-Oct-12 02:31:33

OK, then you need to think about practical issues, painful as they are. You say DH, so I'm assuming you're married, and the dc are of the marriage. Are you renting, or mortaged?

Mayisout Mon 08-Oct-12 02:33:31

Why didn't he tell you before 10pm? He sounds very cowardly.

Can you put everything out ready for the morning then if you do fall into a deep sleep there is no rush to get organised and sort out your little DDs.

DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 02:41:54

I am very close to my mum and dad, they live around the corner.
He said its been on and off for 2 years but lately more on and he can't lie to me anymore. Says its his problem, and if it wasn't her it would be someone else eventually as he can't help himself. Lucky her hey.
Been together 12 years married 4 and a half.
What do I tell my eldest? My poor baby. She's 3.3 and absolutely adores her daddy.
He told me at 10pm cos I asked for a hug as felt he'd been very distant this weekend.
A few months ago he threatened to leave said I couldn't give him what he wanted. Like a mug I've been trying to be the model wife to keep my family together and all the while he's been fucking someone else.
Thank you so much for your replies.

DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 02:42:39

Old lady, mortgaged. He says not to worry about finances he will pay everything and give me money. I have no job.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 08-Oct-12 02:48:29

He has no alternative than to promise he'll pay the mortgage etc, but you are in a very vulnerable position, and should not depend on him. See CAB (Citizens' Advice Bureau) as soon as possible.

DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 02:58:35

Thank you I will. I know he won't see us without though.

deleted203 Mon 08-Oct-12 03:01:38

Is he wanting a divorce, OP? Or just suggesting that he goes off with his OW and you trust him to do the right thing financially? I'm asking because my ex left, but argued about not wanting a divorce. In your position filing for divorce would give you the financial security you and the children need, rather than being dependent on him. Please call your mum and dad first thing. We're all thinking of you. (And he's an arse who doesn't deserve you). As far as dd goes I would just say that daddy's going away for a little while for now, I think.

izzyizin Mon 08-Oct-12 03:19:05

Okay, Dolly. Here's the gameplan. You're going to let him go with as much dignity as you can muster. Tell your dps what's happened and get them round to support you - or go visit them while he moves his stuff out.

If he doesn't pack his stuff up later today start doing it yourself - no need to do anything other than chuck his belongings into bin bags; don't trouble yourself to sort clean from dirty or be overly fussed about folding garments and make it clear to him that you expect it to be gone by the evening or it'll be left outside/stored in the garage or garden shed.

Inform him that you intend to consult a solicitor with a view to filing for divorce and tell him that he needn't be surprised if the ow is named in your petition, either as co-respondent or by citing his affair with Ms Ever Ready To Drop Her Drawers as evidence of his unreasonable behaviour.

Tell him that your solicitor will be in touch to discuss his contact with the dc and, to this end, you'll be expecting him to move into accomodation that will enable him to have both of the dcs overnight at weekends and other times by arrangement, albeit that it may be some time before your youngest dc can stay over with him.

Also make it clear that it would be singularly inappropriate for him to introduce the dc to the ow until such time as hell freezes over you consider that they have adapted to him no longer living in the martial home and will not be unduly distressed at the fact that he's got an ow who's supplanted their dm in his affections.

NB: what you don't want is a situation whereby he attempts to have his cake and eat it by using your home to have contact with the dc whenever it suits him. The minute he walks out the door for the ow is the minute he joins other sad sacks weekend dfs in MaccyD's and similar establishments.

After you've imparted this information, go absolutely no contact with him and maintain complete radio silence until you have sourced and consulted a rottweiler solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law and who offers a free half an hour initial consultation - visit or seek recommendations for solicitors in your area on the Legal matters board.

Do not place any reliance on his assurance that he will keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed - any man who lies through his teeth to commit adultery is not to be trusted.

Chin up, honey. You can and you will do this. Once you've got him out of your home you can go to pieces it'll be one step at a time and you'll have an army of mumsnetters supporting you throughout.

deleted203 Mon 08-Oct-12 03:23:32

izzy can I just say that that was the best and most concise advice I've ever read.

Minstrelsaremarvellous Mon 08-Oct-12 03:43:18

I'm so sorry that you've been told this tonight. It's horrendously painful for you.
A couple of things to suggest, make this your first post of many and MN will help you in more ways than you can imagine. Secondly, listen to Izzyin - she offers very sound advice. Right now it might seem clinical but she's right. My ExH promised to do the right thing financially........ and we ended up in court as he was such a devious shitbag. If your H is capable of having an affair while you're pregnant and then with a small baby, he's very capable of NOT doing the right thing financially.
Lots of things for you to comprehend, digest and take on board, but sadly experience (my own and other MNers) tells me there's more to come.
Your DC will be your lifeline. One day at a time.

Jamieaffair Mon 08-Oct-12 03:43:56

So sorry to hear your news and there is no doubt you will feel terrible, but please get this man out of your house , get the advice others have recommended and don't let him back into your life. The children will be fine and in the long run your life will be a lot better without a deceitful partner. Good luck

izzyizin Mon 08-Oct-12 05:33:54

What you need to get your brain round, Dolly, is that your h has thought about leaving you for some time.

He's no doubt planned his departure, perhaps with the assistance/encouragement of the OP, and he was either waiting until the 'right moment' arrived or he sought to create that moment by artifice.

I suspect that him having been 'distant' over the weekend was due to his having set himself the task of breaking the news to you, and I further suspect the lateness of the hour was due to his being unable to do so until he was either prompted by the ow to fulfil his promise to her, or he took a look at the clock and realised that his self-imposed deadline was upon him.

In other words, he's ahead of the game and what I've attempted to do in my earlier response is enable you to play catch up with a view to taking the wind out of his sails getting ahead of him.

He may have fondly imagined prising your hands off his ankles and leaving you in a distraught heap as he made his exit, but you're not going to give him that satisfaction because you know you'll feel all kinds of desperate fool if you give way to what may be your natural instinct to beg him not to go only for him to give you a rueful smile, and an 'it's for the best', as he slides out the door.

And if you beg and he stays, how will you feel knowing that he's only stayed out of pity and how long do you think he'll stay for?

Use every ounce of strength you possess to channel 'cool, calm, and collected' while you effect his departure - and afterwards come back here for tea and sympathy, fluffy blankets and chicken soup, and a restorative wine or 10 2 to get you through what may be the worst few days of your life to date.

You aren't likely to believe it at the moment, honey, but it will get better and it will get better a lot quicker if you are able to keep yourself together when you are dealing with him.

DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 05:59:28

Thank you so much Izzy, and everyone. I am definitely not begging him to stay. I could never trust him again so taking him back won't be an option and I've made that clear. Scary about solicitors etc. I will discuss all of that with my parents tomorrow. I can't believe it's happening.
That makes sense about this weekend. He's telling me that she doesn't know he's doing it. I've looked her up on Facebook. Younger, slimmer, great job. Just a shit boyfriend but she'll work that out in time.

izzyizin Mon 08-Oct-12 06:21:41

He's telling me that she doesn't know he's doing it Of course he is. Graduates of St Twunberts Academy for Philanderers sing from the same hackneyed hymn book and rarely deviate from the same well-worn script <<yawn>> because they're incapable of original thought.

Although there've been a few reported here who've had some novel ideas none, as yet, have been able to get past the collective wisdom that is the mumsnet goalposts.

The legal ramifications can be challenging but solicitors in themselves aren't scary. If you are eligible for legal aid you're best advised to petition for divorce sooner rather than later as changes that are due to be introduced early next year may negate any eligibility you currently have.

BeckAndCall Mon 08-Oct-12 06:43:25

Dolly, just wanted to sy I hope you make it though the day in one piece.

And to say to Izzy, what wise words. This is the wronged wife hymn sheet, for sure. Stick to the script if you can Dolly.

I really feel for you as your DC wake up to their new life this morning.

Timetoask Mon 08-Oct-12 06:53:22

So sorry dolly. I wish I could understand how a man can abandon his family for the sake of an affair. It is unforgivable.
But just remember that you will be your children's world.

NarcolepsyQueen Mon 08-Oct-12 07:21:02

Izzy has given you some great advice. You can do it Day. Be strong.

DaydreamDolly Mon 08-Oct-12 07:24:48

My poor babies.

Fairylea Mon 08-Oct-12 07:30:09

Izzy has amazing advice.

My ex husband left me for his ex from before he me after contact between them on fb. We had been having ivf and were married less than a year. It was bloody hard. I had to sell the house and he left me with 26k worth of debt and literally disappeared with no further contact for dd then aged 6. Up till then he had been the most loving partner. It was like a switch went.

Roll on 4 years later I am now remarried with a 4 months old ds. Never would have ever imagined that.

Keep strong.

olgaga Mon 08-Oct-12 07:35:09

You do need to get advice as soon as possible. They all go off with the idea that they'll do the right thing financially - until they realise how much it's going to cost them.

So sad for you OP. Devastating news and it'll be a long process of adjustment for you. You might find this useful:

Relationship Breakdown and Divorce – Advice and Links

It is useful if you can get to grips with the language of family law and procedure, and get an understanding of your rights, BEFORE you see a solicitor. If you are well prepared you will save time and money.


If there are children involved, their welfare, needs and interests are paramount. Parents have responsibilities, not rights, in this regard. Shared residence means both parties having an equal interest in the upbringing of the children. It does not mean equal (50/50) parenting time - children are not possessions to be “fairly” divided between separating parents.

A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (“Statement of Arrangements for Children”). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order - “Residence and Contact” regarding children, “Financial Order” or “Ancillary Relief” in the case of Finance. Information and links to these can be found in the Directgov link below. Residence and Contact Orders are likely to be renamed Child Arrangements Orders in future.

Always see a specialist family lawyer!

Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible. If you have children at school, ask mums you are friendly with if they know of anyone who can make a recommendation in your area. These days there are few people who don’t know of anyone who has been through a divorce or separation – there’s a lot of knowledge and support out there!

Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Don’t just stick with the first lawyer you find – shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor you’re happy with.

If you can’t find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law.
You can also find out about Legal Aid and get advice on the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 08345 345 4 345
Co-operative Legal Services offer DIY/Self-Help Divorce packages, as well as a Managed Divorce service. Their fee structure is more transparent and they have a telephone advice line as well as offering really good advice on their website:

You can read advice and search by area for a family lawyer here:

You will also read good advice and find a family lawyer here:

Some family law solicitors publish online feedback from clients – Google solicitors to see if you can find any recommendations or feedback.


You will be encouraged to attend mediation. This can help by encouraging discussion about arrangements for children and finance in a structured way in a neutral setting. However, it only works if both parties are willing to reach agreement.

If there has been violence or emotional abuse, discuss this with your solicitor first. Always get legal advice, or at the very least make sure you are aware of your legal rights, before you begin mediation. This is important because while a Mediator should have knowledge of family law, and will often explain family law, they are not there to give tailored legal advice to either party - so it’s important to have that first.

Married or Living Together?

This is a key question, because if you are married, generally speaking you have greater protection when a relationship breaks down.

Legal Issues around marriage/cohabitation and relationship breakdown are explained here:

DirectGov advice on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown:

Legal Rights and issues around contact are further explained here:

I found these guides from law firms quite informative and easy to read – there are others of course:


Before you see a family law solicitor, get hold of every single piece of financial information you have access to, and take copies or make notes. Wage slips, P60s, tax returns, employment contracts, pensions and other statements – savings, current account and mortgages, deeds, rental leases, utility bills, council tax bills, credit statements. Are there joint assets such as a home, pensions, savings, shares?

If you have no access to financial information, or you are aware that assets are being hidden from you, then obviously you will not be able to reach agreement on finances. If there are children, as you cannot divorce without adequate arrangements being agreed on finance and children, you will have to apply for a financial order anyway. If there are no children, and you are unable to agree on finances, you will also have to apply for a financial order (follow the links below). This seeks financial information from both parties going back 12 months. So it is in your interests to act quickly once you have made the decision to divorce.

If you are married, the main considerations of the Family Courts where parties are unable to agree a settlement are (in no particular order of priority):

1.The welfare of any minor children from the marriage.
2.The value of jointly and individually owned property and other assets and the financial needs, obligation and responsibilities of each party.
3.Any debts or liabilities of the parties.
4.Pension arrangements for each of the parties, including future pension values and any value to each of the parties of any benefit they may lose as a result of the divorce.
5.The earnings and earning potential of each of the parties.
6.Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
7.The age of the parties and duration of the marriage.
8.Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties.
9.Contributions that each party may have made to the marriage, either financially or by looking after the house and/or caring for the family.

CSA maintenance calculator:

Handy tax credits calculator:

Handy 5 Minute benefit check, tax and housing benefit calculators:

Parenting issues:

Other Support for Women – Children, Housing, Domestic Violence and - Helpline 0808 2000 247 - Helpline 0844 8044 999 - Helpline 0808 802 0925
(Note that there is usually an appropriate link on these websites for England, Wales and Scotland where the law, advice and contact information may differ.

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