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Utter despair...(42 Posts)
I am lost. I can't see a way to make it right.
My H had an affair with some 26 year old idiot that didn't mind his ring or his daughter & the new baby. He betrayed me in a way that I never thought he would - he was always such a good, kind man & I just dont know who he is anymore.
The affair lasted for just over 3 months - there were declarations of love, him having never felt like this before & the best sex he's ever had. He dumped her when I found out.
6 months on he is still here. Life has been further complicated by his dad being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
I have read emails between him & his counsellor where he told him that he isn't attracted to me but was overwhelmingly attracted to his OW. I told him about this & he said that he only emails him when he is at rock bottom - he knows that he has been attracted to me & that all the tough times we've had have maybe damaged that connection (several miscarriages).
He left for a month to try to sort his head out. He came back & seems depressed & overwhelmed. I am slowly crumbling - I feel trapped. I'm trying to get a life & hang in here, but I feel like things are just shit.
I asked him to leave at the weekend. But then we talked more & agreed that he should stay. Despite the situation, I feel bad about asking him to leave because of his dad.
Affection is down to nothing. He will give me a peck on the cheek when he leaves for work & he gave me a hug when I was a bit stressed at the weekend.
He claims that he didn't leave me for her because he knows that there is something about us that keeps him here. According to him, she could have been just anyone, the relationship didn't have legs & her talk about a future freaked him out.
The year before the affair was very stressful for him. We had a fairly good marriage but I think we were on autopilot, taking each other for granted. He is deeply sorry that he didn't just talk to me about this & he is remorseful & incredibly guilty about the affair & what it's done to us & me.
He is confused about whether he wants this marriage. He hasn't let go of the feelings he has for her, although he does wonder whether it's more a case of how she made him feel. The usual ego massage, adoration - it would appear to be pretty standard in an affair (and so scripted & cliched).
I know that I should tell him to go. Get out of this limbo. All of this isn't the man I know. It would be so much easier if he was working damn hard to make things right or if he just left. But this limbo state is wearing me down.
It looks awful, doesn't it? There have been moments of hope - when he told me that he wants us to move forward, go to places we've never been to. He told me, over & over, that he loved me one night. But those are few & far between now. It's like he's shutting down - I don't think he can cope with this & his dads illness.
I know that some of you will tell me to kick him out & maybe you are right. I find myself wishing that I could just disappear.
I do have good days & I can balance things out. I guess I'm having a very bleak day. I just don't know if he's worth all of this. I want him to fight for me. But he's doing that bloke thing - shutting down, disappearing into his "cave". I read somewhere that men can't process emotions as quickly as women can.
He was always my rock. I could always count on him. I fell in love with him because he was such a good, kind, honest & beautiful man. Does all of this mean he isn't? Or did he lose his way? How do good, kind people deceive their spouses - the people that trust them & love them? He is flawed - we all are. He regrets what he has done - but why can't he make it right?
Has anyone had to deal with this? Does this kind of situation ever turn out well?
I'm so sorry you're going through this
What really strikes me about your post is that it's all 'He' 'He' 'He'. It's all about him and his problems and what he wants and what he did and what he's doing.
But what about you? What do you want? What are your problems?
I think maybe you need to reorient everything around to yourself. Allow yourself to be selfish and think of yourself first.
I think this is important because then you can stop rationalising what he's done. So what if he had problems, presumably you also had a tough year but did you go out and cheat? No.
I think it's telling that you say you wanted him to leave, but then 'we' decided he should stay. I think maybe you should stop talking to him and start thinking for yourself. Decide what YOU want.
He does not sound worth it to be honest. I'm sorry.
"he didn't leave me for her because he knows that there is something about us that keeps him here"
Could be the washing, the ironing, the cooking and the cost of paying maintenance if he lived somewhere else
Yup. Plus the having your cake and eating it. Two women for the price (paid by them) of one.
Agree with dreaming but hate saying it - I don't think you have enough here to make it work.
Counselling might help but you need the motivation and enough of a foundation in terms feelings for one another for this to be the case. It sounds like he has checked out the marriage to be honest.
I also agree that you need to turn the focus on to your wants and needs and stop thinking about his. You don't really talk about how you feel about his affair, which must have been devastating for you.
I've just separated and I don't think I will get back with my husband though he would want this. Your dh talking about going to new places and doing new things makes me think of myself, thinking well if only we had some nice holidays maybe we could get things back on track. But I think it's not really about wanting to sort things out, more wanting to enjoy life again. Hankering after holidays we could have isn't about our relationship, it's more thinking about how the distraction of stimulating experiences would shift the focus outwards rather than inwards onto our relationship, which isn't right.
So sorry you are going through this because it sounds really miserable. You need to think about what YOU want. Why did you not do more to improve things before the affair? I'm not saying that in a blaming way, I just wonder if you really wanted to make things work. What do you want? Can you see a happy future by which I mean not just stumbling in because ending things is worse? Or are you just mourning happy times past, before it all broke down?
Poor you I hope you manage to work things out in your mind. It sounds like you need to have a proper talk with your husband about all this and work out if you both think you have a future. Apologies if there are typos, I am on my phone. X
"Why did you not do more to improve things before the affair? I'm not saying that in a blaming way, I just wonder if you really wanted to make things work."
So sorry for you op. He has hurt you in a cruel, uncaring and selfish way. To me this man is flaky and I'd never be able to trust him. From your op, it sound like he has emotionally checked out of the marriage and has no qualms about hurting you. He is only sorry he got found out.
His emails to the counsellor are very telling and it's just a matter of time before he hurts you again....or left. It will take time to heal from this but you can't carry on with him imo. Its not your fault he is depressed but you can't put up with this because of his father's illness. Remember this is a man who didn't stand by you through your mcs. He doesn't deserve your good naturedness.
I really feel for you. I'm not sure you can come back from this. I agree with an earlier poster, you are so focused on him and his behaviour. I think it's time for you to think about yourself.
The added problem here is his father's illness. I just feel that this man would hurt you again in this way and in addition IME, life stresses like this can be a catalyst for a man to cheat. This may have been covered in some of the books that are recommended here about infidelity, I don't know. It's just that I've seen it happen several times with friends. Maybe it's an excuse or maybe something just switches on in a guy's head but something happens that I can't explain. I also think that if he starts to expect you to be very supportive of him during the illness and after his father dies, you will feel a lot of (justified) restentment. So, I think that there is very little hope for you to get back any semblance of a deep, connnected relationship.
Annie what I mean is when OP said they were on autopilot, taking each other for granted why did it get to that point. Not in the least blaming.
If you want to contribute why not write something for the OP, rather than misconstrue and needle another poster?
I think that as long as you are so focussed on him and his problems things will stay exactly as they forever.
If he goes, you can focus on yourself and your children and what you all need. Then you can move on.
He will have the kick up the arse he needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and actually sort himself out.
Then, and only then, can you look at whether you really do want to be together or whether you don't.
Tired - we were just in a rut, I guess. We did have nice times but he was busy with work & then we just got into the habit of focusing on our DD or house stuff. No big worries. The usual bickering about domestic stuff.
I know he's checked out. I just can't work out if he's completely gone. He told me that he can't work out if his guilt is clouding everything. I went away one weekend & he thought "what if moon was in a car crash & died" & then he said all he could see was the good stuff about us.
He loves me but I fear that its the love you'd have for a good friend & as the mother of his kids.
As for what I want? Fuck knows!!! In an ideal world, my H to be in love with me & to adore me. For him not to have been a stupid, selfish tosspot that thought it would be a good idea to shag someone who didn't give a shit about him being married & having kids.
I just do not know what I want to do. I have my counselling sessions & I try to weigh things up.
He did support me through the miscarriages but I think his urge to escape started then. I don't hate him for that. I think it'd quite a normal reaction to pain & distress. However, I do see him as being a conflict-avoider & he's held on to resentments that have eroded the connection.
I see that I am more emotionally mature & aware.
I think he thought that I didn't love him as much as I do. I think he also felt neglected, undervalued & unappreciated. He could have told me that though, instead of having an affair.
He was very stressed before the affair & that's maybe part of the reason why he did it. Almost self-destructive & medicating himself.
He has concerns that this will always taint us.
How did I feel when I found out about the affair? I have never felt pain like it. I found it hard to look after my baby, I've lost lots of weight & it was horrendous. It's calmed down a bit since but now I am struggling to hold on to hope.
I suppose I want to know that I've done everything I can to save out marriage. To know that if we split, I'll feel a sense of acceptance as I tried hard. I'm scared - of losing the man I love, being a single parent, finances, such a massive change.
More than anything, I'd love him to have an epiphany & fight for me. Tell me how much he wants me & that he'll do anything to make it up to me.
This man should be on his knees begging for forgiveness, doing everything in his power to help you recover. He should be focusing on YOU.
He is still ambivalent. No wonder cos he knows you will not kick him out and that you are still there as his skivvy, housekeeper, nanny etc.
He needs a massive dose of reality and that means he has to leave for a while until you have made a decision about your future.
Jux - I know. He needs to feel the loss. I need to get on with my life.
I need a magic fucking fairy to wave her wand & make this right. God knows, I had a bloody tough time with all those miscarriages & I'd just like a bloody easy life for once!
Mad - I've never really run around after him like that. But I suppose he still has the home he knows to come back to.
But yes, he does need to be on his knees, begging my forgiveness.
I would get these books:
Linda McDonalds How to Help your Spouse Heal -a short but hard hitting book for the betrayer.
And Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends
He needs to start growing up.
You sound very passive, probably cos you are so worn down
But nothing will change unless you take some action.
"More than anything, I'd love him to have an epiphany & fight for me. Tell me how much he wants me & that he'll do anything to make it up to me."
Your best chance of getting that is to ask him to leave and stick to it.
He is taking you and your love for granted because he knows he can and you will just put up with it.
Mad - I am worn down. I worry about how this will affect my DD who is 7 too.
Yes, the only thing that motivate cheaters is LOSS. As it is, he still has his cosy home comforts, his cook/nanny/housekeeper and his family...where is the incentive for him to change?
I can understand your concern, but your DD deserve a happy tense free home doesn't she?
Your DC model their future relationships on what they have learned from their parents - what kind of role model do you think you are for DD? A strong woman who will take no shit?
Surely the more apposite question is "why did he not try to improve things before the affair?" if that is, he regards his affair as a direct consequence of his feelings about your relationship.
Is he saying that in his view, the affair happened because of your relationship?
Or is it that in the absence of him saying very much at all, you are projecting and trying to find reasons for something that is unfathomable and remain so, because he isn't saying?
I think the only thing that might achieve a breakthrough is if you part and go public about it. I think you both need to see what life is like without the other in it, because what might be holding you together right now is fear and co-dependance and not love.
The only thing that motivates anyone in these situations is loss and you both need to feel that properly I think before you can make sound decisions about whether you want to stay together.
I understand your need to feel you've tried everything to save your marriage, but you can't do that on your own. Curiously enough, having the courage to part might in the long run, become the marriage's saviour in the long run.
I've been there. He didn't fight for me to forgive him. We are now over.
Her mother is in "utter despair".
How do you imagine that is affecting her?
Or are you fooling yourself she doesn't notice your unhappiness?
You need some space and time to think clearer, also, if it's what you want, he needs to realise your worth by feeling what losing you will mean to him. While he is there, you can't think and remain under pressure and he can only guess about what losing you and the DC's will mean. Seems all round a good idea to agree to him moving out - no promises but with a temporary break in mind initially.
This way he will get a dose of reality and what it would mean for him in the future as a visiting Dad and without support of a DW. You get the time to work on your needs as it appears that you have been leading your life through others and dependent on others and perhaps could do with taking stock and taking charge of your own destiny a bit more.
It's more successful to change your own outlook in life and almost impossible to change other people, so work on yourself. Perhaps some counselling will help you to work out what YOU want in life, not what you want others to be. You can come out of this a stronger person. Independence and strength also happen to be more attractive qualities, you will probably find that the more you carve your own way in life, the more attractive you will seem to your DH and others depending on how things turn out. Draw strength from your kids, they are great for that.
I'm not always such a gibbering wreck as I am today. I try to keep it together, but she's probably noticed that I have been more short tempered at times. We have both tried to maintain as sense if normality.
I know that sometimes separation helps both people to work out what they want. It would be rather ironic that I would end up not wanting it & he would.
As for co-dependancy - I'm not sure, but it's a valid consideration.
I know I am very much getting to the crunch point as this situation is becoming intolerable. I can feel it coming. I may find that separating surprises me & I feel a whole lot better. I suppose it's just the fear of taking that step into such a big change.
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