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17 years of another woman

(85 Posts)
Cantseewood4trees Sat 10-Nov-12 13:10:09

This is going to be long but please, please stay with me. I need to give the full history or opinions might be skewed. I want to add that I dont stay in the UK or US so dont have any form of benefits, healthcare, etc. i have carried this alone for 17 years and this is the first time I have mentioned anything to anyone. Please, if you have 10 minues to read. Please help me.

I was 16 when I fell pregnant and married my boyfriend of 2 years on my 17th birthday. I had my 1st DS 6 months later. To my horror, I fell pregnant again when DS was 6 months old. We were poor, I had no support and was living in a one bedroom flat (there is no public transport here). Ds2 was born. 18 months later, on boxing day, my then husbands Mum friend called me to tell me that her and my DH were having an affair and were in love and he wanted to leave me. Divorce went through same month as my 21st. It was a dreadful time and all I did was try keep my head above water. Literally work, home, work, home.

A year later I met my present husband. I had known him through a school friends brother when we were at school. He was (i thought, according to my limited knowledge at the time) stable, level headed and a nice guy. We moved in together and bought a house within 6 months. We got married 18 months later. He had a couple friend (the friends brother and his wife) who we had seen for lunch once from the time I met him till we got married. 1 week after we were married they came round. I was not keen on them. he seemed very pushy and quite flirtatious. She was also very flirty. 1 week later, DH asks me if I would be keen on trying swinging. I was terrified. Now here is where it gets odd. It was completely against who I am but for fear of loss, wanting to fit in, etc, I said I was worried but would try it. That night we go round to this couples house, he goes into the office with the husband, comes out and everything is a go. A quick few tequilas the husband and me are on the floor and my DH and hus wife are in the room. I just couldnt do anything and neither could her husband. It just didnt work and nothing happened. I did get to sit and listen to my DH and his wife shagging loudly for a few hours (it was a tiny flat). Words cannot describe how I felt. All I recall was the carpenters playing in the cd in the car on the way home. Next thing I remember, I was sitting on the shower floor with the water on very hot and scrubbing myself while sobbing. DH was shouting at me that I was a big girl and went into this with my eyes open. The next morning, I had the other couple on the phone telling how how immature I was being, how childish I was behaving and how all 3 of them were fine and dealt with it like mature adults. They are all older than me by 4 and 5 years and none had kids. I didnt want to be seen as the child. I didnt want to bee the odd one out. They decided the only reason I was reacting like this was because I had not had sex with the husband and that was the solution. They were coming round that night and just him and I were going to try. I dont know why I didnt stop it. No faith that I could be right and them wrong perhaps? I am giving the history because I hope someone else can see things I cant. They came round that night. Him and I spent an hour in bed and nothing happened. It just didnt work. I was awkward, sad, scared and wondering what my DH was doing with his wife in the lounge. We gave it up. They all decided the best thing was if the next time, we just fondled and had sex with our partners in the lounge together and take it from there. We try this and I hate it. I feel dirty. I make it clear to DH again that I dont like it (as if my reaction the first night wasnt clear enough nor me telling him I just cant do this). It doesnt stop. By this time we are seeing this couple ever week and they are now our best friends. I dont know why I didnt put my foot down. I was young, weak, scared, trying to fit in. I dont know. The final straw was they were there, everyone was drinking, I knew what was going to happen so I pretended to be very drunk and went to bed. The next thing the 3 of them get into our bed and start touching and carrying on. I say nooo, and pretend Im so drunk, I am sleeping. They dont stop. I was not entered as I pretended to be asleep but was used (or I feel I was). When I raised it with DH he told me I humiliated him because he had to come on the sheets.

Please understand that if you met my DH you would think he is the softest natured man. He is not. This is only aspect of our life drama.

The last time anything happened, DH's brother was included. I literally sat on a couch while DH's brother and her husband shagged the wife on my lounge floor. DH didnt have sex with her but sat and watched. She fell pregant and had to have an abortion as they didnt know who the father was. everything stopped and I was very, very grateful. A few months later DH tells me that he had fingeried her in my kitchen during one of their "none sexual" visits.

She was by this stage supposed to be my "best friend". By this stage she was my only friend. A few years later, I think its all in the past and I find logs of a message from my DH to her of a sexual nature and her response to him. Clearly there is still feelings. They also sat at my table and played footsy under the table while I was watching sad I did not want them in my life, I just could not live with the constant worry. Seeing how they were with eachother, etc. I felt betrayed by everyone and just wanted to get away from the "sickness".

With my morals and values all confused and feeling so "different" and unacceptable, I did something stupid. I Had a 3 month affair with a man from work. It was stupid and selfish and I couldnt live with myself and so told DH. He flipped (understandably) I am not going to even try and excuse what I did and feel absolutely awful about it. I lost the moral high ground and had to give up work, etc. this continues to this day.

In the meantime, he has ensured that she has stayed in our lives for the next 15 years. She was the part time bookkeeper in our company, still comes round to visit. DH knows how I feel and we have fought about her constantly. DH acknowledges that he has feelings for her but only apparently because he has known her since before even me. It has been soul destroying for me. I am not as thin, qualified, well dressed, etc as she is. I know this. I have always felt like second prize. Last year we did a share swop with another company and to my absolute relief, we got new bookkeepers in. When I tell you DH and I fought monthly about her for 17 years, I am not exagerating. It changed who I am. Because of my affair 13 years ago, he feels I am worse than him because he has not done anything behind my back but I did to him (maybe rightfully) The fingering and dirty messages dont count.. The last time he slept with her was 4 years ago when she told me that my DH was her soul mate.

Now my problem is, he is now getting quite friendly with her DH again which means after only a few short months of not having that sick feeling constantly, she will be back in my life again. Its like I am just not enough. He says he has the right to be friends with whoever he wants and Im just being a bitch. Its my worst nightmare to be house friends with them the way we were.

We are sitting today where he has told me that because I cant forgive and cant let go, he is surprised I am not riddled with cancer. Its been 17 years of feeling like I was less, not a part of the friendship group, less in general, second best. He has said he cant deal with my controlling behaviour and my permanent anger and that we should get divorced. He says I am insane and have a mental disorder because I cant just let it go. why cant he understand my pain and frustration? is it because Im being silly like he says? why cant I let it go.

Please tell me if I am being stupid or a hypocrite. Should I just give up and head for divorce.

amillionyears Sat 10-Nov-12 22:28:18

Sending you hugs.

If you were to do a first step, do you know what your first step should be?
I am a believer in doing baby steps, if the whole thing is too hard in one go.
Baby steps still get you where you want to be.

Cantseewood4trees Sat 10-Nov-12 22:23:22

My older sons father passed away two years ago so they would be with me. They hear him but dont know what happened with the swinging. I would die if they knew what I did. They are both still studying. I have not worked in about 12 years now. He does all the shopping. The bank account, house, bills are all in my name but I dont know any of the account numbers or pin codes for the cards.

Thank you all so so much for responding. It feels like I have an elephant on my chest.

foolonthehill Sat 10-Nov-12 21:18:16

this is the government link detailing shelters and legal details of injunction orders etc.

there appears to be a big push to raise awareness of DV in SA.
I hope that it has been matched by investment in the means to deal with it.

Dear OP _you will never be as alone out of this relationship as you are in it_

Ra88 Sat 10-Nov-12 17:29:17

sad I feel so sorry for you . You sound like you feel trapped with him ? .. You only get 1 life , let it be a happy one !

You cheated on him .. And admitted it , he has been sleeping with someone else too it is no different in my eyes .

Leave him and be with someone who deserves you

ajourneyofgiraffes Sat 10-Nov-12 17:18:17

Hope this helps.

Abitwobblynow Sat 10-Nov-12 17:08:05

Wena, kunjane? (and what would you reply back to me) - Sapele.

Yes. Sapele. YOU ARE ALIVE. You are alive, you aren't dead.

Waar woon jy now?

Listen - don't try and talk to him. Now is not the time. Now is the time to talk to us, and we will try and help you to sort out the wood for the trees.

OK, first things first: do you work? Or do you stay at home?

Second: who does the shopping? How do the groceries get paid? How do your bank accounts work?

Third: are you a co-sharer in the business?

Take a deep breath, know you are not alone, know that the nightmare is going to end and you are going to be free.

Can I ask: are you in the muslim community? Are you Afrikaans? I am looking for where we can support you.

Keep talking to us, don't worry about the dog now. He can wave you away all he likes, but the time of tyranny is coming to an end!

MyLittleFireBird Sat 10-Nov-12 16:57:28

This is one of the most heartbreaking threads I've ever read on MN. You have been so horribly abused sadsadsad I hope this is the first step of many for you.

BlingLoving Sat 10-Nov-12 16:21:04

This sounds horrible! Where in south Africa? Certainly the bigger cities would have women's refuges that you (we) can research for you. On paper, the South African constitution is one of the most fair and forward thinking and you should be protected in terms of finances etc when you leave. Definitely find a lawyer. I am from South Africa and know a few lawyers - if you are in Cape Town I can send their details or perhaps you can contact them
To ask for lawyers elsewhere.

Are your older sons aware if any of this?i think children often know more than you think. Perhaps they can also help on a practical level - taking you to lawyer etc.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sat 10-Nov-12 16:10:17

Cantsee, I am so sad for you. You deserve so much more than this man. He has abused you horribly, and it's no wonder you are feeling so down.

Another one here sending you strength and hugs xxx

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 10-Nov-12 16:09:59


I very rarely post on relationship threads there are so many wonderful and wise people on here who say what i would want to far better than i feel able.

Your thread has moved me to tears though, none of this is your fault, you do not deserve to be treated this way.

Please be brave and stand up for yourself, you only have one life, yours should not be lived like that.

Xenia Sat 10-Nov-12 16:04:51

Do the older children see their father - your first husband?
Do you work?
If you split up with your husband would the 2 boys you have with him live with you or their father?

Might be worth speaking to a South African lawyer. Also if you own shares in the company your husband runs make sure you have copies of share certificates, all the accounts, his tax filings and details of all bank accounts and credit cards you and he have and debts. Ensure you have copies of your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of all 4 children.

MichelleObarmy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:02:17

God, I feel for you. What a disgusting man...disgusting people. You have been badky abused and I am not surprised you feel totally ground down. You must summon up some strength from somewhere to contact a womens organisation and get advice and support - and you must leave, by any means necessary.

Sending you strength.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-Nov-12 15:58:18

"How can a human being be so uncaring and flippant about their spouse?"

Because they are inadequate creatures that care only about themselves and value nothing but their own selfish requirements. They have no concept of the word 'love', they can only 'control'. Your 'dog' analogy isn't quite correct .... I bet he gets on really well with dogs because they will never question or challenge him, they'll always do his bidding, and will always come back for more, however much punishment he dishes out.

You are worth a huge amount and the sooner you get away from his malevolent influence the quicker you'll appreciate that. Right now the only frame of reference you have is what he has told you about yourself.... I can tell that by the words you're using. When you call yourself 'worthless' that's him speaking, not you. You will not erase 17+ years of that kind of abuse overnight... the dependency, the cage he has created for you will be very tough to break out of... but I think you're half-way there. Just have to take that next step.

SarryB Sat 10-Nov-12 15:57:04

I really don't know what to write to make you feel better. But listen to the previous posters - they have some brilliant advice.

You have the courage to do this.

PoppyField Sat 10-Nov-12 15:54:20

My heart goes out to you Cantsee - you are being subjected to the most abominable abuse. You must feel like a prisoner and the person who is supposed to love you the most is your chief abuser. What a disgusting person he is. Well done for telling your story for the first time. It takes guts to tell it but I hope you gain strength from being able to write it down and read it back to yourself. I don't have any practical suggestions apart from the obvious fact that it is time to take action, no matter what has gone before and no matter how long it has taken you to get round to this. This is your moment, do not berate yourself for the number of years you have been in this prison. It is not your fault. None of this despicable treatment is your fault. You can take charge of your life and it will be better for you and your children, I have no doubt. I really really wish you well. You are strong enough. He may threaten divorce to scare you, but just wait till you start divorcing his sorry arse - that would be worth it. You know he will be nasty - but nothing could be nastier than living with this monster.

Good luck

Lifeissweet Sat 10-Nov-12 15:50:15

This is just quite the most heartbreaking thing I've read on her for a long, long time. Please, please know that this is nothing to do with you not being good enough. No one is good enough for a bully and abuser like this. He wants you feeling worthless and helpless so that is why you feel this way. It doesn't matter who you are or what amazing qualities you have - he would make you feel this way regardless.

You are articulate, decent, moral, loving, caring, giving and strong. All of this I can tell by your posts - even when you are at rock bottom and feeling worthless. At your best you must be one hell of a woman. I look forward to hearing posts from that woman in the future when she's happy and moving forwards.

You have a lot if recovering to do and it will take time. I just want to get a plane and bring you to safety to begin a new, happier life.

Keep posting. Keep posting. Let us help you through this.

Notafoodbabyanymore Sat 10-Nov-12 15:50:14

My heart is breaking for you, but things can only get better from here if you can summon up the courage to walk away

discrete Sat 10-Nov-12 15:49:12

He has never loved you, my dear. Sorry to have to say this.

You need to forget about him now, and work on yourself so you can get away from his poison.

Notafoodbabyanymore Sat 10-Nov-12 15:48:27

Sorry, too slow, cross posted with heaps of people.

He is a shithead and will never realise how much he's hurt you. Please don't beg him, please don't expect a change of heart.


Notafoodbabyanymore Sat 10-Nov-12 15:43:45

Do your older boys know anything about how unhappy you are? Can they help you in any way to get out of this situation?

Really feel for you, please contact those links provided upthread. NOBODY deserves to be treated the way you have, you poor love. Be strong, you can walk away. (And I would normally be all for trying to make things work, but this marriage is a joke, due to your other half's attitude and treatment of you.)

Selks Sat 10-Nov-12 15:42:29

I'm so sorry for your hurt and pain.

Cantseewood4trees Sat 10-Nov-12 15:40:03

He has waved me away like a dog sad

Cantseewood4trees Sat 10-Nov-12 15:39:22

I have given everything I have sad and its worthless.

Cantseewood4trees Sat 10-Nov-12 15:38:22

I feel like I am worth nothing and this is just not worth it

Cantseewood4trees Sat 10-Nov-12 15:37:05

How can a human being be so uncaring and flippant about their spouse?

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