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I Think I destroyed my marriage.(112 Posts)
I have namechanged for this.
Early in our relationship my DH and I drew up a bucket list of things that we would do, or consider doing together. One of the things on that list was that I was curious about experimenting with another woman. We were both a little unsure if this was a good idea and we never followed it up together. I however ended up having an affair with another woman a while after this. I never spoke of the affair afterwards.
Move forward another 12 years and DH found the list in a drawer and we were looking through it together and having a few drinks. DH points to the part of the list that mentions another woman and asks if I remember that one. In my drunken stupidity I blurted out that I didn't need to think about that one as I had already done that. DH looks shocked and asks when exactly I had done anything with another woman and it all came out about the affair. DH is gutted and says he will never be able to look at me the same again, and that I have destroyed any and all trust we had. I have tried to talk to him and apologize but he is just so angry with me. He says that if I had wanted to go with someone else I should have just left him then before we had children. I tried to reason with him and explain that it was different and just experimenting, but he says that I'm still a cheat and he wont forgive that. He also said that he feels I robbed him of being able to experience that as a couple together and also robbed him of our marriage.
I need help to fix this because I just don't know what to say to him now. He is still the love of my life and the only one I want to be with. But I have hurt him so badly and don't want to lose him.
I agree with badinage.
Hopefully once he's got over the shock he will appreciate what is at stake.
you cheated which is far from great....my sympathy comes from the fact that it is long ago and that you you and DH had discussed this as one of your list of lifetime adventures which might have been at the back of your mind....i am not excusing you but sympathising as you sound genuinely sorry.
flaminhoopsaloolah sorry I thought you meant the bit in OP, not the 50/50 custody. That's a normal start point in custody negotiations, so not necessarily vengeful at all.
I agree, Auntie...could quite possibly be nothing at all remotely near vengeful...it just, from experience,set off my spidey senses. People can do awful tjings if they let anger overtake them...and not knowing hom or the OP I just wanted to put it out thete that once she realises how much she needs to work on what she's done and what she needs to do it could, possibly, open her up to being on the recieving end of wrongful treatment in the name of payback - not an ok sitiation and I just wanted her to knoe that should that happen its ok to defend herself. One shouldnt quite literally have to suffer emotional/psychological/material ruin because someone is angry at them.
OP - keep giving him space, and FGS, no more excusing/mimimising/deflecting/badgering him - that is most certainly the route to alienating him further. Achnowledgement, active listening, and humility is the way forward, whatever ends up happening.
Look, we can do oh dear, poor you, you poor thing, how awful, he really should forgive you, pat pat hug hug until the cows come home. And she might feel better for a moment.
But then she'll go back to her real life. And her husband will be just as hurt and angry and he won't be pat pat hug hug there there I forgive you.
And she will be oh, but people on the internet didn't think it was so bad...
Whereas what is most helpful to her is for her to see the reality of her betrayal and for her to really see it for what it is. It may not be what she wants to hear, but it's what she needs to hear. People I know will support her in trying to make amends and to move forward. But is it helpful to her to help her to continue to think that it really wasn't so bad and he's being a bit unreasonable because it was, what did she say? 'different and just experimenting'?
Giving him the space he needs. Accepting responsibility. Those things will give her a better chance of reconciliation than reenforcing her belief that really it wasn't so bad and he shouldn't 'throw away' 12 years.
I don't think anyone is lining up to give her a kicking. It's clearly a really painful thing for her.
But if she can look at it differently, she may have more chance of rebuilding.
you cheated on him, you hid it from him and you allowed him to live a lie for 12 years and go ahead and have children with a person he perhaps wouldn't have (or maybe he would have) if he'd known the truth.
that's the reality.
i don't think i would ever see you or my life over the last 12years in the same way again either.
i suspect i might be able to forgive an indiscretion if i was told right away, the person immediately recognised what a stupid thing they'd done and had the decency to tell me and let me know the truth about my own life. if however they lied, hid it and let me carry on choosing them, having children with them etc etc without knowing the truth i'd never forgive them.
this isn't me being harsh or saying you deserve x, y or z but maybe your husband is like me. and flippantly blurting it out drunkenly as if it was no big deal 12 years on would be a total dealbreaker for me.
i really can appreciate how it feels from your side and how much you want it to work etc but i'm afraid my sympathies go to the person cheated on, lied to and allowed to make major life decisions on the basis of a sham - re: believing you were a faithful, honest, decent person who'd never cheat on them.
the thing is the person not telling me would tell me everything i needed to know about how much they actually cared about me, respected me and saw me as a whole human being with the right to autonomy over their life. it would tell me they were a selfish coward who put themselves before me repeatedly and didn't have much of a conscience. if you've been together with someone for 12 years finding out all of that about them in one fell swoop would be pretty fucking devastating.
I feel sorry for you, too, OP. I'm afraid that, in your husband's shoes, I would feel as SAF described just now. But I did take an ex back after he admitted an historic affair ... people do, and couples do build successful new relationships, together, after such devastating news. I'd just like you to know it's not a given, neither is it easy.
For now, do take care of yourself in the moment. Eat properly, rest enough, and talk as much as you need. Glad you're with your sister.
Am I the only one sat here wondering how the OP's husband is right now? Is he alright and coping with the total destruction of his feelings and emotions?
I talked about this thread with my own DH (who is himself a mumsnetter) and his view is that for him it would be the end of everything. His view is that if one partner can deceive the other for over a decade then they clearly didnt value that person for the entire time.
SAF - Your post echo's my own feelings on this very well. While I wish the OP no ill will, neither do I feel very sorry for her. She has a roof over her head and is safe enough with her sister, although in her sisters place I would have said a few hash words as well.
KoPo - what makes you believe you're the only one wondering? There's a fair few posts expressing disagreement with the OP's lack of empathy fir what she has done.
If the DH were posting here Im sure he'd get support.
The OP has made it clear what her goal is - to make amends - and many have posted telling her that het current attitude most certainly isnt going to achieve that ( unless DH is a complete and utter push-over) ie people are empathising eith how her DH must be feeling and with that empathy are letting her kniw that minimising his feelings, and even lsying blame at his door, is a sure way to encourage him to feel even less inclined to forgive her. If people are feeling emapthy for his situation then how, ligically, could they not be imagining how he must be feeling?
flaminhoopsaloolah - Yes that was probably a little unfair of me.
I am a little frustrated with the OP's failing to fully appreciate the damage she has caused and allowed my judgement to get clouded.
I have been giving DH the space he asked for but he has sent me a text asking what I want from the house and did I want him to sign the other property we own over to me Ho we both have a place to call home an that the DC's will be in places they know.
He sounds so certain about things now. I just wish he would realise how much I love him and how so very sorry I am. He has been so calm in all this but his pain is clear. The worst thing is knowing that I have caused all this. He is blameless and is suffering.
I think all you can do is keep reiterating that you will do whatever he needs you to do but your desire is still to repair the marriage. If he wants space, fine.
I think he does know how much you love him and how sorry you are. But you can't erase what you've done. You need to demonstrate very clear remorse and understand his feelings, not just your own.
i would reply saying please let's take some time before making any big decisions.
good that he is being so fair about property and stuff though and if it does come to it then his plan is a good one so you both have secure homes to have the children in.
"I have been giving DH the space he asked for"
You do realise it could take months for him even to begin to think straight when the crisis is of this magnitude?
It's good that you have a roof over each head and can provide stability to the DCs during the period of separation which currently looks inevitable.
It might be worth seeing if you can buy some time by saying that you would prefer to wait until you have both had the chance to take proper advice before proceeding with permanent separation of assets.
It's encouraging that your DH is being calm, which sounds like he is willing to put the happiness of your children before the pain he is feeling, and it does sound like a workable situation for you all to carry on with your lives.
Who knows what the future holds? Time will tell. In the meantime, continue to respect his wishes and leave him alone. I should imagine as time goes on the depth of your actions will become clearer to you as it does appear that you didn't have much of a grasp on the effects your confession would have. Your OP suggests that you confessed in a somewhat lighhearted and cavalier fashion, assuming that your DH would be ok with it because it wasn't a 'real' affair. Use this time to really understand how you have drawn this conclusion as this is a fundemental issue.
I think OP you're just going to have to keep following his lead. He's obviously and rightly devastated. I ser you're in bits - but expecting him to have had his space and be done with that bit is unrealistic. He's doing the best he can under tge circumstances and playing extremely fairly - no man I have ever known except for my father and probably my current partner would have thus far acted with such grace under such painful circumstances. Despite his raw emotions he seems to be treatibg you respectfully - ackniwledging you have financial and material needs that he has no right to try to take from you....you need to extend the same consideration; he has emotional needs, a grieving process that he is going to have to go through that has been foisted upon him by your actions.
His very kindness and giving nature is one of the things I love about him. In all the time I have known him I have never seen him deliberatly be unfair to anyone. His strength and kindness have made him my rock. And knowing that I have broken that is too much to bear.
But I'm my stupidity I have done exactly that. I tried to follow the advice on here and replied with asking to wait til things settle a bit. But he has said he is not willing to waste even more time with someone who had so little respect.
I really think I have wrecked everything now, and I feel so stupid.
You have had 12 years of knowing this.
He has had a weekend to process that you cheated and lied to him about it for 12 years and that you think it is unimportant and experimentation.
You are telling him you don't want to end it and texting him asking him to wait until emotions are not running so high before making decisions.
That is not respecting him and giving him space to sort his own feelings out, that is pushing your agenda and wants onto him.
tbh i think you have wrecked it.
he sounds like a totally sound, honest, decent, fair human being with high standards for himself and who is even now treating you wonderfully. why would he stay with you?
realistically i think it's over and clearly he won't need to be single for long if he doesn't want to be as he sounds like one of the genuinely good people.
i think you may have to accept it. take the blame -don't start twisting about why it wasn't so bad or it wasn't your fault when you finally realise he isn't having you back and do the best you can for your children and don't get in the way of their relationship with their father.
it's terribly sad that you've blown but yes, i'm afraid you have.
Give it time.
Your pain and his are so tangible that only someone with a heart of stone couldn't feel humanitarian sadness for the predicament you are in.
His anger has come through very quickly and currently this is what is galvanising him into creating plans and order from the chaos. It might not look like anger, but this is what it is.
In a while he will crash and he will need a lot of comfort from others when that happens. I hope he's getting advice not to make irretrievable decisions just yet. He is in shock and anger - not the best emotions with which to make life-changing decisions.
Be guided by his cues and when you can, tell him what you've told us. How much you love him and specifically why you love him so much.
OP - I think you have little chance of repairing this tbh.
And I know this sounds harsh, but from your posts it sounds as if it's still all about you.
I'm so sorry for your pain OP.
I know you are hurting and so is your husband, but I agree with the posters who are saying that they think its pretty much over. I think many on this thread share my amazement at how decent he has and is being and I hope for both or your sakes that continues. I'm not sure I could be that clear thinking after a shock like that. To be making sure you have a place to call home and wanting as little pain for your children just shows what kind of man he is.
I think you are both going to need a lot of care and support as you go through this. I know this isnt what you wanted but your DH has had his world smashed right now. And as the shock wears off he is going to come down very hard (as are you). Make sure you have plenty of people around you who care. And I hope he has the same.
Good luck OP. I dont envy either of you right now but you need to fully take on board that this was totally your doing.
I really wouldn't know what to do in your shoes. It must be very hard for you.
I'm awake at ten past two, nearly 2 years post affair with a DH who has done everything humanly possible to make amends.
Be kind and let him go.
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