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Just discovered an affair

(34 Posts)
tinkerb Sat 04-May-13 10:57:02

I have just found out that my DH (married for 18 - together for 25 years) has been having an affair. He has admitted it and confessed to have been meeting a woman for sex dates for the last 18months. I am finding it hard to get my head round this and I can't quite believe its happening to me.

Our marriage has had its ups and downs - which I thought was fairly normal when you have been with someone for so long. There have been 3 times where DH has said to me he wasn't happy and wanted to leave but each time we have decided to work on our relationship for the sake of our DCs. The last time we had one of these crisis was two years ago and I was so shocked as I had thought we were through it all and that we were getting on really well.

My DH says he has stopped the affair wants to fix things with me and we have started having more counselling. Right now I can't image how I can ever trust him again when he has been lying and deceiving me for 18 months to go and have sex with another women.

I do still love him he is a wonderful, good looking, funny and charming man but an absolutely rubbish husband. I worry about how this will affect the kids if we separate, but also feel after so many years of limping along/trying to make it work and failing that now it must be time to call time. But equally after investing so much of my life in this relationship I feel I should at least get to the bottom of why this happened, what went wrong, what did I do/not do - but am thinking am I being a mug here??

Would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation for any advice or thoughts....

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 11:03:58

Tell him to leave while you sort out how you're feeling. You're currently being rushed into counselling and forgiveness just because he says he wants to 'fix things'.... what about what you want? It will affect the kids worse if you feel stuck with this man against your better judgement than if you make a break.

As for why it happened... easy. It's selfishness on his part. Nothing to do with you, what you've done, said, not done, not said. Selfishness, opportunism, a blatant disrespect for you and taking what he has for granted. He thinks if he clicks his fingers, you'll still be there.... grateful.

So tell him to leave. Take some time to really think it through and work out what kind of future you want for yourself... not what he wants for him. Take him back now without having made his life very difficult and you become the weaker party in the relationship.... and then god help you.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sat 04-May-13 11:20:24

It sounds like he has pretty constant low level unhappiness with the relationship (saying he wants to leave 3 times is quite a lot) and an affair could be a way of trying get you to make the decision for him.

GirlWiththeLionHeart Sat 04-May-13 11:25:14

I think you are in shock right now, but soon anger and hurt will hit hard when it sinks in. For that reason you need to take Cogitos advice and ask him to leave for a bit until you work out what you want to do.

So sorry, op.

tinkerb Sat 04-May-13 11:28:07

Thanks for your thoughts - its so helpful to have a fresh perspective _ i am struggling to think clearly about anything as I am so shocked right now.

About your point - tell him to leave now. I see what you mean about not becoming teh weaker party but do you really think that is the best thing to do? If I tell him to leave then the kids are exposed to all this before I know what outcome I need/want... they both have exams coming up and I was thinking I should leave any shocks for them until after that... and then I keep thinking what about our summer holiday that we have booked to go on with friends - what on earth do we do about that? And all the social engagements that we have coming up with friends - do we just make our excuses and not go out while I/we sort out what to do.

Do you think people do ever forgive and get over this kind of affair? I know he was just after sex and our sex life was pretty lacking - but I think we are both responsible for that...god I just feel so deceived and betrayed.

TurnipCake Sat 04-May-13 11:31:43

As Cogito said, now is the time for you to have space in order to think about you, recalibrate and take everything on board. You cannot do that properly until he's out of your living space.

Bully for him that he wants to fix things now, he wants more counselling. He doesn't get the right to be at the centre of things, now is the time for you and your children. He can GTFO and you can get angry.

cjel Sat 04-May-13 11:33:10

I'd say do you feel you can do the counselling while living in the same House?, do you want a break from him being with you or are you getting more from him being there than not? The counselling will be great if you can be honest about what you feel and don't automatically think it will'fix' everything. It may be that you come to the conclusion through counselling that you don't want to live with him any more, at least you will know you explored all your options thoroughly. Please don't start to do things because its what his knee jerk reaction to being caught says he wants. Try to listen to yourself and hear what you want inside.Take care of yourself but don't rush things either way. Give the counselling a chance to help you not him.x

Annielove Sat 04-May-13 11:35:21

My XH behaved in a very similar way. The same i'm not happy speech couple of times, together over 20 years. A charming, good looking man ....but his ego and selfishness always came first. In the end it was never going to work. I was always waiting for the" i'm not happy" speech. It makes you feel not good enough and destroys your self worth. We have been apart 18mths now and yes i still love him but the relief of not having to worry about what he's up to or whether he's happy or not far out weighs the misery and sick feeling i used to have. He's with a 26yr old now but do you know i feel ok about it mostly, because he is the type of person who will always think there is something better out there!! too bloody exhausting to live with. Good Luck, take some control x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 11:36:35

If you tell him to leave I'm sure you can make up some reason why Dad has to go away for a while without having to spill chapter and verse. This isn't about them now, or your friends you're going on holiday with, or him... it's about your self-respect. An 18 month affair is not 'just sex', it's an actual relationship.

Xales Sat 04-May-13 11:38:35

Who cares if he now wants to fix your relationship. What you want is up to you.

Take your time. Find out where you stand legally and financially. Even if you never use it you won't be as scared of a future alone knowing your options as if you don't know.

Don't think too far ahead. Just cope on getting through the next few weeks.

Summer holidays and social engagements are not as important as you and your well being.

If you sit pasting on a happy smile with friends when all you want to do is stick your fork in his face you are going to torture yourself. Don't lie to them. Let them know he has betrayed your trust.

If you are not ready in a few months he can suddenly be too busy to come away with you.

Please consider a trip to an STI clinic for your peace of mind.

tinkerb Sat 04-May-13 11:50:24

Funnily enough WhiteBirdBlueSky he did say that i was using this as an excuse to end it/get out rather than working things out. I thought that was especially cheeky.

I am hearing what most of you are saying about getting some space. The thing that I am struggling was that I was/thought I was really very happy in my life - great home, great kids, fab friends, supportive family, fit and healthy but I guess I did not know the whole picture.

So it probably sounds weak but I was happy with my lot - not joyfully happy but content. So part of me thinks maybe that is enough for me. But then the other feels like it has been an exhausting time, trying to keep up appearances for family, friends and kids to make everything look happy whilse knowing that probably both of us were not all that happy - but felt we had invested so many years that we should keep trying to get things better. I am thinking that for us to keep having so many failed attempts must mean that we were not right for each other no matter how much we tried to force it to work.

tinkerb Sat 04-May-13 11:54:23

Thanks cjel - I wanna do counselling to understand him and work out what I need in life and find myself again - after being with someone for so long you can't help but be defined by them a bit. When he is at home i am in a false sense of normality - Like everything was before last Sunday when I found out - when I am on my own reality starts to hit me and I feel lost and depressed and hopeless - I want to get to that angry stage soon as i need some umpgh to cope with this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 11:58:35

"I am thinking that for us to keep having so many failed attempts must mean that we were not right for each other no matter how much we tried to force it to work."

Sadly I think you're nearly right.... except that for 'we' read 'I'. You've been making a massive effort over and over and over again to keep this 'unhappy' man on the team. You've almost lost yourself in the process. He's done nothing whatsoever.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:59:57

You do realise that all those other times he said he was unhappy and wanted to leave, he was having affairs then as well? The only difference this time is that you found out.

You haven't got anything approaching the truth, so on that basis you can't forgive.

My advice is to separate and re-evaluate. You will probably find you'll be happier on your own once you have a contrast.

Madamecastafiore Sat 04-May-13 12:00:37

How did you find out?

I would only believe his wanting to work at things if he confessed without you asking or catching him out.

That's not to say I would give him another chance. You are a long time dead to put up with having an unhappy time whilst you here!

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sat 04-May-13 12:11:07

I think you're focussing on things like the holiday rather than face up to the big issue here.

The holiday doesn't mean a thing in comparison with your marriage.

How dare he say it's you that wants out! angry

Did he confess or did you catch him out?

Flisspaps Sat 04-May-13 12:27:40

Your sex life may have been lacking, but the only person/people responsible for the affair is him/OW.

It is not your fault.

akaWisey Sat 04-May-13 13:10:10

Can i just suggest that if you embark on counselling that you do it less to understand him and more to help you decide what you want and to build the resilience to follow through any decisions you DO make?

He did it because he wanted to and had the opportunity, nothing to do with you or any 'failings' on your part. And the bit about you wanting out is him projecting his desires on to you actually. Sorry.

ageofgrandillusion Sat 04-May-13 14:33:03

I don't want to sound harsh OP but everything about your post suggests this man is only with you for the safe and easy option and that, if he had any kind of spine or backbone, he'd do the brave thing and leave. He doesn't love you - you don't three times try to escape somebody you love and you also don't shag somebody else behind their back for 18 months. And that's only the one you know about.
It seems the only thing holding your marriage together now is for the sake of keeping up appearances. Have some self respect OP and ditch this selfish man-child.

ImperialBlether Sat 04-May-13 14:42:43

I'm really sorry, but I agree that it's very, very likely that each time he told you he was unhappy, he was seeing someone else.

One thing I learned from my ex is that they never ever tell the full story, because they desperately want to appear as the good guy. They will admit (under torture) to the lower limit of what you suspect. They know deep down that you want to believe the better story, that she jumped and landed on his cock, or that she bullied him into the affair, or that she threatened to kill herself if he left her so he had to keep on seeing her, etc etc. The fact he's admitted to 18 months but six months prior to this he wanted to leave seems to bear testament to this.

FWIW I wouldn't tell the children until the exams are out of the way, if the exams are important ones. If you can get away with saying he's working away for some reason or that his mum needs him to stay with her etc, then do that.

Try to stay in control, so that you are making decisions too, not just him.

And stay on here, too - the advice and support is fantastic.

tinkerb Sat 04-May-13 17:01:52

Madamecastafiore I found out 6 days ago when I opened the car door and some torn up bits of paper on the floor by the drivers seat caught my eye. I looked and realised that it was for a hotel room in london the night before - when he had told me he was away on on a black tie business dinner in Paris. Then I confronted him - he denied it at first but when I said I had seen a receipt he told me everything and all about her. It sounds like they have been meeting about every two weeks in hotels all over the country on the pretence of being away on business or telling his work he was working from home. The funny thing is looking back I had thought a few things were odd - but gave him the benefit of the doubt - suddenly he had a new gmail account, started calling me 'babe', took more care over his appearance and clothes also started being much more engaged in family life and happy to pull his weight (which is why I thought things were going ok) Its amazing looking back how naiive I have been but also scary that someone you love and trust can lie so blatantly to me and our kids about his intentions.

ImperialBlether Sat 04-May-13 17:31:55

It's not that you were naive - you trusted him. Why should you have doubted him? He seemed happy and involved in family life - why should you suddenly start spying on him?

I'm so sorry - it's always such a shock when you find out the person you're with isn't the person you thought you knew.

How did he meet her?

tinkerb Sat 04-May-13 17:44:57

I think they used to work together. It sound like there was lots of flirting and he tried to keep away but after a good 6 months they hooked up at a conference and then started planning dates to have sex. So he actually has known her for over 2 years - ouch. Whats worse is he had tried to keep away so therefore knew it was wrong, then once it had started realised he could get away with it - so just carried on with the affair.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 17:47:16

So he's gone now?

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 18:09:12

Then it wasn't a 'sex-only' affair.

Not that they ever are.

I don't suppose the OW was led to believe this was sex-only, either.

This is just something these guys say to their wives because they think you can forgive sex, but not emotional attachment.

What you're getting now is a vastly sanitised version of events and despite what he says, if he's tried to leave 3 times before, I reckon this is at least his fourth affair.

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