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Should I give a third chance?(213 Posts)
I am in a real dilemma and can't easily talk to RL friends at the moment - kids at home for holidays, DH at home in the evening.
My DH had a friendship with a colleague two years ago which I was not happy about as he told lies and kept the extent of their friendship from me. (I knew about the lies because I looked on his phone and texts did not tally with what I was being told.) However he always maintained it wasn't physical. but during this period, he diminished my feelings and made me feel unreasonable and overly jealous. During a year of couple counselling, things improved and we agreed to keep things open and for there to be no more secrets. So I feel I gave him a second chance.
But I have just found more evidence of him agreeing to meet up with this person again and therefore lying as he has not told me himself. It's not a betrayal in a sexual way, I don't think, but by agreeing to travel to a sports event together he is going against all the work we did in counselling. I don't think I can trust him after finding this out and I don't think I can stay married to someone I can't trust. But we have 2 children and I'm in bits at the thought of splitting up.
He doesn't know that I know by the way so I'm keeping things ticking along as normal which is also really hard. Not sure what to do??
Two strikes and you're out is a good rule of thumb in these matters.
As he's blown his second chance, I suggest you ask him to leave forthwith to give you time and space to consult a solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law and to embark on individual counselling to explore whether this further betrayal of your trust spells the end of your marriage.
Concentrating his mind in this manner may help you salvage the dignity and self-respect you'll require to stop him metaphorically pissing all over you in the future.
Take him by surprise. Give it to him straight and don't pull any punches. He's been an arse and, as he seems hellbent on staying one, he needs to know that there's no place for him in the marital home.
so sorry this doesn't sound good. How did you find out he'd arranged to see her again? I think there could be more to it than he's told you so far, sorry
He's telling you what you want to hear and then doing exactly as he pleases.
Probably he knows very well you'd be "in bits at the thought of splitting up", and has factored your reluctance to dump him into his thinking and behaviour. Men, especially adulterers, often have very high EQ in this area.
My brother is an army officer. When they are learning how to fight battles, they're told that whatever else they do, they must always 1/ be aggressive and 2/ do something the other guy won't be expecting.
You can do that here. If you want this marriage to work on your terms, you have to do something that shows him - to his amazement - that you're in charge and that he is not going to be allowed to pull this shit.
I would try that here by following izzy's advice.
If that doesn't bother him, and he wants this shit more than his marriage, then you actually split up some time ago, and he just didn't tell you.
Agree with Apocalypto and izzy - use the element of surprise to your advantage.
How do you think he would feel at the thought of splitting up?
The OP will hopefully be along to tell us, but I bet you dollars to dogshit he's never given it a second's thought, because he doesn't think he needs to. Time to give him that surprise.
Thanks for replying.
I used the element of surprise last time after discovering some lies and before we started counselling. Basically after a year of him ignoring my concerns about this woman, I saw a family lawyer, had a Relate session and told him out of the blue that I was leaving unless he listened and changed his behaviour. He was distraught. Totally on his knees, agreed to counselling, made time for it every week, did everything that was asked of him and changed a hell of a lot. Things were fabulous and when I saw texts between them I could see that he had distanced himself from her.
Now this suggestion from him, via an email, that they hook up for a train journey. It seems such a silly, trivial thing for him to do when he must know he risks everything. But it seems an even sillier thing for me to end a marriage over.
You wouldn't be ending your marriage over a trivial text.
You'd be ending it because he's proved to you that he has no respect for your marriage and, given that he's unable to keep his word, he is lacking in integrity.
He's also a fool and while it can't be said that I tolerate fools gladly, I have zero tolerance for lying fools.
So your H suggested to her that they meet up? Has he instigated it? I don't think that's trivial.
OK I can see that it's him that has destroyed the relationship. I also feel that my only choices are to either accept that he lies and will go on lying no matter what I do OR to tell him that I know about the recent lie and wish to separate. I can't really think of a third option open to me.
But 'tell him to leave' or whatever else might be said in a throw away comment, doesn't quite do justice to what I need to go through to resolve this. We have two happy children who don't deserve to have their worlds turned upside down. We have a massive mortgage and my income is half what it costs monthly. Our combined incomes equal our outgoings, with no spare at all so how would we afford for him to
move out and rent somewhere else. I don't get the logistics and I can't believe I'm seriously thinking of this over stupid lies.
I keep wondering if I should get a private investigator to watch him as at least I'd have evidence to base a decision on, not just bland 'meeting up' emails.
After all the problems this caused he continued to text her?
It absolutely wouldn't be silly to end a relationship over an issue that has nearly split you up before and led to a year of counselling.
He knows what's at stake.
He doesn't care.
Lies are never stupid.
They are devious and undermine a relationship.
What exactly do you want evidence of? Lying? Meeting up with this other woman without telling you? You've got that.
Or are you actually wanting 'caught with his pants round his ankles' type of evidence?
I know I've got evidence of the lying. But I suppose I think if I had evidence that showed it was more than just sitting together on a train, chatting and catching up on old work colleagues/gossip, then I'd feel it justified whatever upheaval a split would entail.
I'm not sure I have the necessary strength or anger to go through it all on the basis of meeting up. Also I'm worried he'd trivialise the lie and make it out that I always meant to end the marriage and was just using this as an excuse. Does that make sense?
OP you don't need evidence, you already know that he is lying and abusing your trust again. A private investigator would just be an expense you cannot afford.
OP I guess the third way would be to say nothing yet and keep an eye on him - for example after the sports event see if he mentions they caught the train together, keep an eye on his texts and emails and so on. However that's an awful situation for you and you shouldn't have to live like that. Are you sure it hasn't already tipped over into something physical? what are your instincts telling you here? and do you know if she replied to his suggestion to meet up, if she's still interested in him, whether she's single, that sort of thing?
It definitely isn't a trivial issue - why should you accept him lying to you? he already knows what's at stake, as someone else said
Thanks again. I can't live like this anymore, that's for sure. I check his phone nearly every night and feel so awful doing it. There is nothing mainly which shows me he deletes it- as the emails about the train have now disappeared.
She accepted his suggestion and said how great it would be to catch up. They don't work together anymore. I suspected it was physical 2 yrs ago but with no evidence I felt it would be over reacting to finish the marriage. I almost wished id found evidence. Now I have this recent lie, I just wish it would all go away. It is so hard to act on it.
Ha that would be funny, I can see me in big trench coat and dark glasses sneaking through the carriages!
I'm just very unsure what to do. I feel I am on a precipice and I don't have the strength to jump off.
Thanks sarahseashell - I've been thinking about the third way of doing nothing for now and seeing how he reacts. And I suppose that is what I'm sort of doing now while I work out what to actually do IYSWIM.
But it's killing me. I lie awake at night running through conversations with the kids telling them why DH is sleeping in the study on the floor, or moving out or arranging contact visits. One of the worst things is imagining them visiting him for weekends - where would that be? A hotel? I just can't imagine it. I know I can't continue being married to someone who so easily lies to me but I can't move myself from A to B.
I have a Relate counselling session booked just for me next week, so maybe I only need to hang on till then to work these things out.
Sorry to hear this, it must be really hard.
This may not be the wisest advice, but if I was in your situation, I'd talk to my DH about it. Speak to him like the situation doesn't involve him, like he's a bystander and ask his advice. So:
"what would you do in this situation? I've discovered my husband is lying to me about meeting up with X and deleting emails. This undermines everything we did in counselling. As far as I can see my options are put up with being lied to or leave."
So it's not as final as an ultimatum (and if you want to give a third chance i dont think you can make an ultimatum) but delivered icily enough its a strong warning and opens the door for more communication (and massive, massive apologies.
Stupid stupid man though - even if he's not cheating, he's treating you like a fool and undermining all the trust in the relationship. Those things are deal breakers alone.
Thanks zombiebees. I see what you're saying and I suppose my reaction is telling - I don't think I want to give him a third chance.
That's it really, I can't go on with him as I've lost all respect and trust in him. So maybe thinking it through on this thread has moved me along considerably. The problem is I can't face starting the whole thing off. Having that conversation with him where I tell him what I know.
op i have walked in your shoes and can guess how you feel but i assure you he is just telling you what you want tohear. i split with my dp 19 months ago 2 kids in tow. i still love the man ut refuse to be so disrespected. good luck and i hope you make the right decision
What happened to you addicted? How did you deal with it? Given you still loved your dp, how did you keep your resolve to split? I'm worried my resolve will crumble in the face of two upset children and my dh who will argue till the cows come home that it meant nothing.
Well then, why not start planning your separation until you are ready to make it happen?
Maybe see a lawyer, figure out what your financial situation woukd be like if he was gone etc.
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