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Spying II - keeping my distance

(10 Posts)
DesertDilemma Sun 26-May-13 11:18:25

I posted a message 2 weeks ago today, after I found some emails showing involvement between my husband and a work colleague. I had confronted him with what I found, and he was remorseful, but he was heading away on a 2 week business trip - which the OW was also attending. I had tried to set up a forwarding copy of every new mail from his BB to a web mail address, but it didn't work. Not sure I want to go down the full-on 'spying' route anyway.

In the meantime I've had space to think, and I've been digging further. What a mess. There are a whole series of lies stretching back years (10 years married). One confirmed infidelity (a one-night stand when drunk) and various examples of inappropriate behaviour with other women - contacting old girlfriends, flirting with people from work, etc. And who knows what else? - because he's generally not confessing anything in advance, not until I confront him.

Even on these 2 weeks of the trip, he has lied about the time he spent with this woman. He sent me a photo of a (weekend/free-time) event they attended, with colleagues around him - not her. He sent his brother a different photo - which included her. He claims he lied about this because I had asked him to avoid spending time with her if he was serious about fixing this. (And this is the way he fixes it??)

He insists there is no physical relationship - and is hugely apologetic for what he calls the 'drunken emails'. He claims to have apologised to her too. But he doesn't admit that this is an emotional affair (I don't have evidence of anything physical except for a couple of 'hot' emails). He does not see that the level of familiarity and intimacy between then makes this an affair.

Three days ago (still on his business trip) I told him the children and I were leaving and there was no certainty that we would be here when he arrived home. (I was bluffing a little, because the passport of one of the DC is in the UK for renewing and we need to wait for it to arrive back). Only then did he change his flights home to earlier, from Sunday night to Saturday night (meetings finished on Friday night but he claims it was too late for a flight that night. He had dinner with her 'and other colleagues').

Honestly, I know there's more than enough here to leave and never come back. We're booked to leave and return to the UK the day after the children finish their school term at end of June - but I have to get through the next month first.

So now this morning he's back.

He's doing all that he can to reconcile, says he will do anything at all to fix it - and I just want to keep my distance. I want to keep civil, and I don't want there to be an atmosphere which distresses the children, but these last 2 weeks have served me well to distance myself, and I cannot lose this now. There is no doubt that he will keep talking me into giving things another shot. He keeps apologising, but it leaves me a bit cold. I don't know if he is truthful with me even now. And he is charming and I still love him, and I will weaken - but I have to stay strong and avoid making any promises to reconcile. I am not ready to say 'That's it - forever', but after some space and time for a few months I know I will make a clearer decision on this. I ask that he stays away for now.

How can I stay strong in the next month? I need to stay in a separate bedroom, and we have space to do this - but I do not want to upset the children with anything different. I can try to be out of bed before they waken, but they often come looking for me in the middle of the night. I don't want to force a conversation with the DCs (7, 5, 3) which really doesn't need to happen yet. We were going home for July and August anyway, and that allows for distance for all of us.

What else? Who else has been in this situation, and what can I do to keep my resolve?

monicalewinski Sun 26-May-13 14:58:47

I feel for you so much. I found out just over a year ago that my husband had been having an affair with a woman from work for 6 years, looking back there were loads of times when I "knew" but I believed his lies every time.

There's no easy answer to this, I'm still with my husband now but only after separating for a few months whilst going through relate and to a relationship psychologist - it was the relate sessions that made him face up to the enormity of what he had done, up until then he was very good at "compartmentalising" the different aspects of his life - me and the bitch he was with were in very different boxes in his mind.

I would always say to anyone in this situation that if your husband is a good husband and father in every way (other than the obvious of being a selfish, cheating shit!), and you still believe that you love each other, then always try the relate option prior to "leaving the bastard". It is always better to look back and say you tried and failed, than that you just didn't bother. Relate are unbiased and professional, and worth every penny in my opinion.

Stay strong in the meantime and hold your head high, good luck with everything xx

ashamedgay Sun 26-May-13 15:49:40

Wow where did you find the strength for staying with someone you in love with but cheated on you for 6 years?

Mum2Fergus Sun 26-May-13 16:11:40

Desert, I recall your original post. My god, you've been so strong. Im sure there will be more wisely MNs than me along soon but didnt want to pass through without recognising all you've achieved so far. Good luck xxx

monicalewinski Sun 26-May-13 16:19:11

Because apart from the (now) startlingly obvious, he never let me or our family down. He was/is an awesome dad, we have always been best as a team and believe it or not he was a good partner who always had my back. He put us in separate "boxes" and never admitted to himself what he was doing (being found out and relate was what made him hold a mirror up to himself).

I don't condone what he did and I don't forgive, but I understand (IYSWIM), our relationship wasn't perfect when the affair started (I'd just had child no 2) and his selfishness at feeling "pushed out" was what ignited it - easy done if the opportunity is present in my opinion. The affair was only "full on" for the first year, then she was posted away but they grabbed opportunities as they appeared over the next 6 years, including whilst on deployment at the same time (forces) - it was only when we got posted near to her again that the pressure came from her for him to leave us and be with her, at which point it all came out and we are where we are today.

We are actually far stronger now than ever and I don't regret for a second the decisions I made, but they were my decisions and I understand that everyone is different. I am by no means a pushover, I am an independent woman and always have been - I am just a believer in not rolling over and giving up, I do things on my terms and so I did with this bombshell.

monicalewinski Sun 26-May-13 16:28:51

DesertDilemma I'm sorry if it seems like I've hijacked your post, what I'm trying to get across is stay strong, don't blame yourself, stay rational and be pragmatic. It is an awful, awful situation to be in, but only you know your mind, feelings and situation - don't be swayed by others opinions (they will always have one, either way) and please, please go to relate; at the very least, relate will help you separate on the best terms that you can so that your children don't suffer or they will help you repair the damaged relationship.

Be strong, my thoughts are with you xx

independentfriend Sun 26-May-13 16:38:41

There are lots of reasons people don't share beds that aren't to do with the end of a relationship, that you could tell your children: snoring, wanting a whole big bed to yourself, being too hot, wanting to read and not disturb your husband if he's sleeping etc.

zipzap Sun 26-May-13 16:45:09

Make your dh move into the other bed if the dc come looking for you inthe night and he is the one that has been unfaithful!

DesertDilemma Mon 27-May-13 01:13:27

Monica, I love your story. Yesterday I made a weekly appointment for us with a therapist, for the next 4 weeks. We saw her once last year and H a few times alone but when she started to get close to the mark, he was very uncomfortable and didn't go back. (was unrelated to infidelity, he's battling alcoholism but I foolishly never thought he'd be unfaithful). So lets see if that can start to do something useful - but I am leaving to get some perspective back.

Everyone, thanks for your kind replies. My post was hideously long-winded, it's a wonder you got through it.

monicalewinski Mon 27-May-13 11:15:04

The time away is crucial to "get perspective back" like you said, and also the therapy is hugely uncomfortable (it was for me as well as my husband, I had to face up to things about myself that weren't perfect too).

I think most people are completely sideswiped by the infidelity, very few people think it will happen to them - why would it? If you really thought you were with someone that would be up to that sort of shit, you wouldn't be with them (IFYSWIM - although I am now with someone that I know is capable of it, figure that one out!!), feeling foolish and ashamed was something I too felt but it's NOT your fault and you are not the only person this has happened to.

With regards to taking time apart, we told the kids (6 & 9 at the time) that we were having a "time out" from each other. We said that we still loved each other but had been arguing a lot, so were taking a time out to give us a chance to chill out a bit - this meant I didn't have to keep up a pretense of everything being normal, the effort required to do that would have probably finished me off! We said we were trying to stay friends and reassured them that they were our priority etc. But, as the 2 posters above said, there's plenty of reasons you can give as to why you are sleeping apart - and make him move as he's the wanker.

We didn't start with relate until 6 months after it all came out, mainly due to life getting in the way - moved house etc, but that worked for me because I felt strong enough to hear the crap that I had to hear, and I had had time to accept that what had happened had actually happened. I was also prepared at this point to go it alone if the counselling didn't work.

Still raw for you at the moment, but it does get better in time.

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