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Men & affairs - what is the script?

(30 Posts)
imaginethat Wed 12-Dec-12 09:14:32

A lovely friend of mine has just had her husband announce he is leaving her & their 2 young children. Right after this announcement, infront of the children, she answered the phone to her MIL, explained why she was upset, and the MIL told her she thought he had been having an affair. MIL and the DH work together and apparently it is common knowledge that he is seeing a colleague and has been for 4yrs.

He has threatened to leave her many times before and she has suspected for some time that he is cheating (stays out all night twice a week) but then he has been nice again and they've just carried on. She has always said that she will never leave, that her mother left and she would not do that to her children.

This time is different as the MIL has dropped the bombshell. My friend asked her DH about the affair and he denied it. She asked him to leave asap and to keep supporting her financially until she finds a job, gets on her feet. He said ok.

She is understandably upset but seemingly devoid of anger or bitterness. I asked her how she felt about the thought he was seeing someone else and she said she could not be bothered "even going there", that she just wants to get on with her life and take the opportunity to start again.

He seems to be slightly put out by her sensible response and is now talking reconciliation. She has told him this can only happen if trust is rebuilt and he has agreed but is still denying the affair.

She does not have a wide circle of friends and does not find it easy to confide in others. SHe has led a relatively sheltered life leaving her parents' home to move in with her DH, and she devotes herself to family life.

Can someone tell me the script of the cheating husband? I have no experience of this. I gather that they lie and deny. What should she expect next?

It is great to see her gaining confidence to the point of seeing a future without this man who treats her so badly. How can I best help her?

OP’s posts: |
Abitwobblynow Wed 12-Dec-12 12:00:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

maleview70 Wed 12-Dec-12 12:25:21

And despite all that so many wronged wives are happy to take them back!

Who is the stupid one?

Minstrelsaremarvellous Wed 12-Dec-12 12:34:46

Abitwobbly you are a genius writer!

arthriticfingers Wed 12-Dec-12 12:41:06

And this from Slambang
To summarise many many MN threads, the steps are ...

Faced with suspicions "of course I'm not having an affair. I love you."
Faced with evidence. "I'm not having an affair. Shut up."
Faced with incontrovertible proof. "I'm not having an affair. You're mad."
Faced with being kicked out. "Yes there is another OW but we haven't done anything. It's all emotional. I'm so confused"
Faced with not being allowed back home. "Actually, she's the love of my life and I never loved you."
Faced with divorce. "I'm madly in love with her. You are an evil bitch."

6 months to 2 years later. "I made a terrible mistake. I love you.Can I come back?"

Abitwobblynow Wed 12-Dec-12 12:54:02

Maleview: unlike them, we recognise our obligations to others (namely, children, the wider family) and have accepted that our whims desires and trantrums aren't the centre of the universe.

Translation: we suck up a LOT of shit.

We aren't martyrs, we don't enjoy our humiliation, and we are not stupid. We suck it up it for a greater good - and it hurts.
But then, on the other hand, when we do decide that we would rather be divorced than disrespected, you are probably found in the band deciding we are money grubbers...

When are you going to look at yourselves? Instead of telling us we are stupid, why aren't you thinking about the damage done?

maleview70 Wed 12-Dec-12 13:03:17

I was on your side of the fence so you are attacking the wrong person. My wife cheated on me.

Difference is I left, got on with life and worked bloody hard to maintain a relationship with my son.

You don't always have to suck up a lot of shit and kids can cope if you do split up.

I think half the time people stay for financial reasons rather than divorce and become "money grabbers" as you put it.

I think some women believe in fairy tales and happy ever after a bit too

imaginethat Wed 12-Dec-12 18:25:33

Wow! Thanks ABWN, that is amazing.

Obviously I don't know all the details but a theme has been the staying out all night, telling her she is fat (she is v slim and attractive, a lot better looking than him) and other put downs, with occasional patches of niceness.

She wavers between wanting to work it out, driven mostly by fear about money and the effect on the children, and wanting to separate and create a better life for herself. She is also know seeing the impact of his behaviour on the children, the 9 yo worried about being fat etc

OP’s posts: |
ISayHolmes Wed 12-Dec-12 18:35:06

I wouldn't want him anywhere near me if his put downs were making my daughter think they were fat.

What a horrible thing for his child to learn from him: "Women have to be nice and slim for their men". Cunt. I hope she never gets back with him.

ISayHolmes Wed 12-Dec-12 18:35:52

Sorry, visceral reaction there. Not exactly useful advice blush

imaginethat Wed 12-Dec-12 18:45:08

Me too ISay
Obviously her self confidence is v poor else she would never have married the twat.

OP’s posts: |
Nomorepain Wed 12-Dec-12 19:24:06

Omg I cannot believe how accurate your midlife piece is A Bit! Scary!! And horrible to see that so many people go through such horrific treatment. There must be some serious fires burning in hell ready for these rats!!

Pochemuchka Wed 12-Dec-12 20:01:59

ABWN - that is a brilliant description! Hope you don't mind I've copied it and pasted it into my phone so I can reread it and remind myself it's not me who's crazy! smile

AppearingDignified Wed 12-Dec-12 20:05:18

Should I send this on to a friend whose husband is in the middle of a MLC while she remains resolute in helping him through?

Abitwobblynow Wed 12-Dec-12 20:39:43

Loved your reply Maleview!

I think that is the only solution: to get on with it. I am going to C&P your reply xxx

izzyizin Wed 12-Dec-12 20:59:16

The Midlife Club Forum is well worth a visit and in particular Learning to love yourself is essential reading for all who've come to grief on the rocks of a relationship.

imaginethat Wed 12-Dec-12 23:14:31

Hey thank you everyone. ABWN I feel that thank you is not sufficient, you are truly amazing.

To everyone who has been cheated on, love & strength to you xx

OP’s posts: |
Abitwobblynow Thu 13-Dec-12 08:06:14

I didn't write it! It is copyright The Midlife Forum.

There is also a fantastic Craigslist letter from an agnry wife's point of view [marriage is hard work. Heck, life is hard work. take some responsibility instead of having a temper tantrum like a two year old. she is having a f g riot cleaning cool aid of the floor and cleaning out the lint trap on the dryer] but I can't find it!

For those of us who have had long marriages 15+ years and are in our 40s, the types of affairs our Hs have (midlife crisis) are usually split self affairs, or exit affairs.

We have to look at the message (Emily Brown) the affair is giving us.

LetsCancelChristmas Thu 13-Dec-12 09:01:56

So, I think I'm in chapter 4 at the moment - "I love her I'm sorry" leave, stay with her, text me at 5 in the morning declaring love, come back, say everything I ever wanted to hear about our relationship and future, lets try for a baby, make an effort for a week, run me baths, cook me dinners, hold me close, suck the life out of me when I discover (because I am a mistrusting and despicable human being) still in contact with her telling her of course can be together will just take time, is confusing etc *repeat, repeat REPEAT

Was quite convinced was descending into madness - probably actually am, but cried whilst laughing reading this at least, rather than simply sobbing and regretting every one of my extensive faults.


Abitwobblynow Fri 14-Dec-12 15:10:12

Christmas - DO NOT let him do this. It will hurt you more than you know.

THROW him into OW's open, loving arms and open, loving legs. Let her deal with the drama, let her witness his agony and depression and missing you and being confused. Do not yourself give it any energy.

There is nothing like living the reality of the fantasy to wear the shine off her twat it, and there is nothing like LOSS to concentrate the mind.

He must lose you. You must continue 'as though' he is never coming back. Act as though he is in a coma - NOT in your life.

Go no contact. Block his number if you have to. You must reject him (in a non-abusive way) utterly: sight, sound, speech, home, everything.

Please believe me on this one. Go to the midfie forum, they give good advice on this.

superstarheartbreaker Fri 14-Dec-12 17:00:39

MThreads like this makes me wonder why I and so many women long to have a boyfriend..are blokes really all that? I do think that they exploit the relative vulnerability of women.

Abitwobblynow Sun 16-Dec-12 22:09:04

I think superstar we make the mistake of overlooking their faults and thinking we can change them.

And, sadly, if they remind us of our past, it is all rather 'normal'...

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 17-Dec-12 08:46:30

Your friend has done the right things and I don't think you need to bother her too much with talk of 'the script'. He's on the back foot at the moment because he's been made to go at a time not of his choosing. Unusual for the MIL to dob in her own DS but, unless she's very malicious and has ulterior motives, it has to be taken on face value. He's trying to regain control with offers of reconciliation. All your friend has to do is stay strong. Good luck to her.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Mon 17-Dec-12 14:15:11

ABWN, Thank you! I just came across this thread and what you've written is absolutely spot on. I am going to c&p this so I can read it again and again and again, any time I'm feeling low about throwing XOH out. Just brilliant.

imaginethat, your friend is lucky to have you, hopefully you'll be able to help her see just who it is she's really with. I think a few of my friends thought that about my X but didn't tell me; I wish they had.

Imaginethat Tue 18-Dec-12 08:55:53

cogito her mil is not malicious or a bitch. My friend gets on well with her and often comments what's a wonderful grandmother she is.The mil has expressed her sadness about the situation and assured my friend she and fil would like to help in any way they can.

My friend is now saying she would really like proof of the affair because he is denying it and she isn't sure what to believe. I said maybe have a look at his phone but she looked shocked and couldn't imagine doing that. And tbh if you're at the point of snooping, the trust has gone and the relationship is over, right?

itsokay I am sorry for what you have been through and glad that you found something helpful in this thread. What a horrible thing to go through.

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