Advanced search

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 I move on from cheating husband?

(18 Posts)
Makethepainstop Tue 09-Oct-12 21:25:44

Really long story but here goes...

A year ago I found out my husband (who I adored) whilst working away mon-fri was having an affair. At the time I was 18weeks pregnant, severely ill with hyperemesis and looking after our 3yr old DS. He left me for a about 6 weeks then decided he wanted to come home. It was conveniently just before Christmas. I was desperate for him to come home and make it work. I did post on mumsnet for advice at the time and found it really brilliant but i was weak and desperate for him. We had a lovely christmas and start to the year then he started to go distant again. At this point he was still working away mon-fri and home at weekends. I was heavily pregnant and paranoid he was cheating again but tried to keep it all in and keep a happy home even though I was broken inside.

Our dd was born early march. When she was 5 weeks old he walked out again. Said he wanted a single life, not a serious relationship. His contact with kids has been erratic. Sometimes not turning up but always late - upto 4 hours late. He promises and never delivers. He went on holiday to Thailand for 3 weeks recently - same time as ds starting nursery school (even though he promised to be there to take him) and this week told me he has been on a few dates with a new woman even though it isn't anything serious.

I am struggling so much much to move on. I am constantly fantisising about him walking through the doors again and saying that he wants to come home. He has completely moved on and seems happy with his new life. Doesn't even hint at wanting to come back. He sees the kids 3 weekends out of every 4 but he isn't really spending much time with them. For last 3 weeks since returning from Thailand he has been landscaping our garden. It did need doing but I am flabbergasted that he isnt spending time with the children.

When I put it down on paper I can see how much of a rat he is but my heart is just so broken and I want him to comeback and do us to be a proper family. I am devastated that i am raising the kids on my own. How can I ever come to terms with being a lone parent and how will anyone ever want me again. Just all feels so rubbish and unfair.

Makethepainstop Tue 09-Oct-12 21:30:00

Also I have started divorce proceedings - he needs to sign confession to get things started but he hasn't got round to it yet. He has had the letter fr 6 weeks now!

Also at moment he is paying for everything - mortgage, all bills, food, children's clothes, my car is payed for by his business etc. We had lovely lifestyle. Just so scared I am going to lose everything

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Oct-12 21:50:07

You need to get this man out of your hair and out of your environment if you're to stand a chance of moving on. All the time he's hanging about you'll be horribly upset and confused, on the one hand knowing it's over and on the other hoping he'll say it's all been a big mistake. Tell him to get the hell out of your garden, sign the bloody divorce papers and then communicate with him only for the bare essentials to do with your children.

FWIW you may have had a 'lovely lifestyle' but it was at a terrible cost to your self-respect and self-esteem. He has made you feel worthless. He is the one making you wonder will anyone want you again... No amount of new clothes or nice cars compensates for having your confidence so thoroughly trashed. He is a nasty human being.

I've been raising a child on my own for the last 12 years and, whilst there have been more than a few challenges, I can tell you I've never been so proud of myself or had so much fun in the process. My DS and I are a 'proper family' in every sense of the word....and so are you and your children.

Makethepainstop Tue 09-Oct-12 22:09:10

Thanks cogito but how do I make him sign the papers? I honestly don't think I'm going t feel any better when the divorce is finalised.

I am struggling to let go of him. One mi ute he s nice to me and the next he is mean. How do I move on from letting him dip in and out of our lives. I haven't got a very supportive family - m walked out when I was 3, lived with df for a while til m got custody, was mentally abused by her for years till she chucked me out then moved in with df and his partner. Gt with h when I was 16 and from that point spent majority of my time with him and his family. Haven't seen m since my wedding day when she tried to ruin it. Still see df but he can't deal with my situation and hasn't been in contact for 4 weeks. I still see in laws very frequently and would class sil as one of my best friends. Situation is so messed up. H has cut contact with his family and friends and made a new life for himself where he works.

In many ways I have moved on but I just desperately want him to come back and for us to have the family that I never had. In my experience step families just don't work and I really don't think I will ever find anyone else. Don't even know where to start looking or what I could actually offer. My on
Y topics of conversation are either about my rubbish situation or how amazing y beautiful children are. Neither is a great convo starter for new romance!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Oct-12 22:27:49

OK. You've never been an independent adult. That's an important thing to understand about yourself and this is a golden opportunity to rectify the missing chunk of your development. Rather than clinging onto a man that has treated you like yesterday's chips and rather than worrying about where you're going to find a replacement.... take a step back, look in the mirror and tell the person you see there that they are a strong, capable, intelligent woman and that they don't need some man to prop them up. You'd almost certainly benefit from some personal counselling to help you make up the gap.

I would question whether you want the in-laws to be so involved in your life. Even though he has cut them off, there will come a day when he will cut them back in and then they'll have to choose. IME no matter how friendly they are and how disapproving of his actions, family will stick together eventually. What you need now are friends. Not his family, not him, not a new boyfriend but friends who can help you on a practical level and to whom you can be totally honest.

skyebluesapphire Wed 10-Oct-12 00:18:43

I have been there and am still there in some ways. I understand that feeling of desperation and wanting him to come back no matter what... I'm divorcing my STBXH but still have feelings for him. It's been six months since he walked out.

All I can say from experience is that it does get easier over time. I was in pieces and could not imagine being happy ever again but my DD 4yo is now happy enough,I have great support from friends snd family.

You need to realise that the man you want back a rurally vanished a long time ago and won't be back. The man he is now is not a man that you want to be with.

There are so many similar threads st the moment.

Do you have a Sure Start Zchildrens Centre near you? They can provide advice, education, counselling, home visitors, childcare and much more. You can make friends at toddler groups etc..

hoopieghirl Wed 10-Oct-12 06:39:31

Agree with others this man checked out of your marriage along time ago. He is treating you with great need to pull up your big girl pant (difficult I know) set some boundaries as start to make plans for a life for yourself and your dc. You deserve so much better, go for it !!!

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 10-Oct-12 07:28:30

You will never be a proper family with this cheating lying man.

You and DC can be a proper family on your own.

You need to look at rebuilding your life - hobbies, training, education, work, friends and so on. That way you become a more fulfilled, stronger and independent adult.

Makethepainstop Wed 10-Oct-12 11:12:27

You are right that he checked out of the marriage a long time ago. I keep allowing him to check back in and I should stop.

Think I have a overwhelming need to be loved and looked after. I know you wouldn't believe it from the needy things I've put on here but I am strong and independent it's just that this whole situation has broken me. I have got a wide group of friends - old friends, mummy friends, socialising friends but really when it comes down to it I am on my own. Christmas is coming up and I am dreading it. I have got nowhere to go. I would usually spend it with in laws and that is what I would love to do but he will be there. We get on well at the mo utterly because I have put up with what he is doing to me. The minute that I get angry or start to shut him out things turn sour and I can't deal with that.

I am moving on but finding it unbelievably difficult. The days pass easier ow but it's the future that I dread. I just feel hopeless. Money is tight. I'm n maternity leave. Literally have no idea how I am going to pay for Christmas presents. I am hoping h will give me money but that is dependant on me remaining friends with him. I am starting back at work in march/April time and struggling round trying to get childcare sorted. Don't get me wrong I am moving forward and my children are happy and they know they are loved I just don't know how to take control back for good. I feel strong for a bit then just dip back down into feeling shit again.

He said on Sunday that we would still be together and happy if it wasn't for him working away. Makes me even sadder. All I ever wanted was to be able to offer my children the family that I never had. And nows it's all been taken away. We were together for 16 years, 13 years before having children. Both of my beautiful babies were planned and longed for so why does he decide that life is better without us? So bloody unfair

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 11:18:26

It is difficult embarking on an independent life when you've been used to being part of a couple. All your points of references have to change & certain occasions like Christmas or anniversaries can be especially tough. But you have to put all your efforts into playing the hand you've been dealt, not waste time wishing it were different.

Don't listen to him telling you that you'd still be together 'if only'. He's just messing with your head, trying to justify his actions .... pathetic rewriting of history so that he can pretend he wasn't the bad guy. And please don't feel you have to bow and scrape to get money out of him. Better to be dirt-poor with your self-respect intact than prostitute yourself for so much as a penny.

MOSagain Wed 10-Oct-12 11:19:17

Agree with madabout.
You deserve better than this. You deserve to be loved and respected and this man is doing neither. He is having his cake and eating it at the moment.

I know its hard, trust me, I'm just on the verge of issuing proceedings myself. You don't just stop loving the lying cheating bastards overnight, there must be lots of us that still love our DH's but know we have to say enough and move on.

Where is he living now? If you can get proof that he is spending the night with OW then that should suffice for the purposes of an adultery petition if he refuses to sign the confession statement. Or alternatively, issue on his unreasonable behaviour, you'd easily get a petition through on that although I can understand why you would want to issue on adultery.

olgaga Wed 10-Oct-12 11:34:02

So sorry to hear how you have been treated.

Don't worry you are not going to lose everything. Obviously things will change, but I think the sooner the better. It is deeply unfair to be left hanging like this - soul-destroying. What does your solicitor say about getting the process moving?

Perhaps you will find it useful to do a bit of reading, that way you will know more about where you stand. Not all of the information below will be relevant to you, but it might help you get acquainted with the process, plan for the future, and communicate with your solicitor.

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.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 10-Oct-12 11:35:43

Have you taken legal and financial advice yet?

See CAB and a solicitor - you will then know where you stand financially. Once you find out about benefits, tax credits, council tax discounts, maintenance and CSA, you will probably realise that you will be ok.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 10-Oct-12 11:36:16

Cross posted with Olaga smile

Makethepainstop Sat 13-Oct-12 08:45:01

Morning all, thinks its going to be a bad day today. Woke up just feeling numb. Got plans to go out with friends but I'm just not Into it. He isn't seeing the children this weekend so I won't see him. My mind wanders slightly as to what he is doing but not as much as it once did.

I am sat jn bed snuggled with my babies and it just feels like he is missing. Sad!

Christmas is really on my mind. We have nowhere to go. I am big on Christmas and make a big deal of it. Just wont be the same this year. I have contacted my friends and they have all got plans. Just wish one of them would say that we could have a joint Christmas. My mil has repeatedly invited us to theirs for Christmas. I just do t know if I can do it this year. My babies would love it being eith their cousins but He will be there and just dkbt think it is right. I want him to sit at that table in Christmas Day and feel the loss of his children. Not for him to come back to me saying he has made a mistake but for him to face up to what he's done. Such a toughie!!! I just know its going to be me and the kids on our own for Christmas. Sad or what!!!

Mrsgorgeous Sat 13-Oct-12 09:05:57

Trying to forget about Christmas too. My eldest daughter is expecting her second baby in December and we usually go there but I can't expect her to cater for us and its a long way for her to come here.
I don't know what to advise you but someone said to me the other day....what if he had died? What would you be doing? It's made me think and I still don't have an answer!
Will he definitely be at your MIL's. maybe it will be just as hard for him to sit at the same table as his children and you knowing what he's done.i don't think your children should miss out on seeing their family and neither should you. You're not the baddie here!

Makethepainstop Sat 13-Oct-12 09:12:56

Christmas without seeing my in laws will be awful. Really awful. It is the first Christmas that ds will remember and I desperately want to make it special for him. He would have brill time with in laws but not so sure I can cope. Will be so weird.

If he had died we would still go to in laws. It's mad there must be so many lonely people at Christmas all desperate for something fun to do.

Why oh why to these men have to ruin everything?

ickywickyyicky Sat 13-Oct-12 09:32:08

Get the book feel the fear and do it anyway - it talks about a 9 square grid - each bit is an important part of your life. If you have nine separate areas, then when one of them collapses, you whole life doesn't IYSWIM because you still have 8 areas which are satisfying to you. All about having a balanced life, and when I looked at the grid, I realised why my mother is so unbalanced as what she has in her life amounts to 4 / 5 categories. So if one malfunctions eg only child is disobedient it feels like more of a catastrophe.

I'm trying it too - as I haven't decided if I am keeping my idiot H who got semi-entrapped by an OW aka a home wrecker who enjoys the process of causing chaos.

I have same fears about Christmas ......I am scared that without DH any christmas traditions won't feel the same, and if I do new things then it might coincide with the last year as a family. But in reality you can make new ones and it is the small things I remember about Christmas as a child. So making gingerbread with special Christmas cutters and eating them warm on Christmas eve while you watch a Christmassy film would become a tradition DS does with you every year. My Mum remembers wrapping up warm and going out at night to look at Christmas lights, and all the houses lit up with Christmas trees in the windows. That was her favourite memory with her mother. My daughter loves helping decorate the tree interior design goes out of the window in this house.

We used to have big family gatherings of 25-30 plus for Christmas, and it is fun, so I understand where you are coming from. Family has now fragmented, and it is a shame.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: