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Can I forgive this much deceit?(708 Posts)
I am trying to figure out whether I can stay,have couples counselling, and try and work things out. Or....whether it is just too much betrayal and deceit. My mind swings between the 2 on a twice daily basis.
Background: DP has cheated on me with 2 women. He met with each one 4/5 times during my recent pregnancies. He has also met up for drinks with a few more. He met then through married affair websites.
I found out about the websites 10 weeks ago, and about the women 3 weeks ago. He followed the usual script of denial, deleting, minimising etc. Then I was contacted by a woman and he had to come clean.
He has started psychotherapy to deal with his issues. He says it was about the buzz of getting girls to be impressed by him.
How do I work out what to do for the best? Obviously he is desperate to work things out. I am prepared to listen at the minute. We have 3 DC. 2 are very small. Help me to make sense of this please!
What it says about you is that once you have kicked him into touch, please do something like The freedom Programme before getting into a relationship again.
Thank you mummytime - I haven't heard of that, but will look into it. It is all just so damned hard! It has made me ill - how can somebody live a lie for so long!
Hi Alphacourse, that is a question I wonder about too. I can't understand how my ex could live such a massive lie. Some people seem to be able to compartmentalise their lives.
After I found out some of the truth I really felt traumatised by the depth of the betrayal. It's taken 18 months for me to feel like I'm putting my life back together again and along with that came the realisation that my ex was an abusive bully. I did the online Freedom programme which I found helpful. Also had almost a year of individual counselling.
I hope you are ok.
Thank you. I am feeling much stronger this week. It will be 11 weeks tomorrow since I found out. I have waited for the initial shock to go and see what is left. I realise that I don't resapect him and that he is a disappointment of a man. I keep waiting to see if he will magically pull something out of the bag that will show me the man he CAN be. I'm bored of the wait now I think.
but where it counts, on matters of trust, loyalty, fidelity and respect your OH has badly let you down
brilliant post. That is it, in a nutshell, isn't it?
Alpha, it is all a process. Whilst MN is 'right' when they say this behaviour is not conducive to a healthy r, the person being not treated well has to get there in their own time. It is a slow whirring of the mental and emotional cogs, to incorporate the new reality, find out what 'we' do to facilitate it, decide where 'our' line is - and prepare for a new life!
I was saying to the OW in the momentous thread, (because her 'why' is actually the same as my 'why' - WHY did we choose this/put up with it?), that coming to a slow realisation takes time. First you are blind. Then it hurts. Then that hurt moves you.
I know for certain that I was taught as a child 'your needs are very deeply inconvenient, have no needs!' and my parents were v neglectful. So when my H started treating me as 'less than' there was no 'me' to be outraged and resist. I had been trained years back. Small everday example: instead of holding my hand in town, he would hold Ds hand and I would trot along 3 paces behind - and not once would he look back or acknowledge my existence. So huge message of disrespect and uncaring that I would say to myself our marital message 'oh, he is right to love D' - without realising that he was in fact making the children feel very unsafe because we SHOULD have been a loving unit over them, and he was modelling disrespect to women to them.
When I went in shattered IC listened to me for 1/2 and hour and then said 'you do realise his affair is the final, unacceptably hurtful part of a PATTERN? It has taken me 4 years to 'get' this.
when I saw the email to OW on 12 March 2013 (finding her existence was 10 May 2009), sent the day before he told me how much he regretted his affair, that was really the only moment for me when I stopped thinking about conflicting loyalties (kids, assets, his beautiful brokenness [chumplady.com]) and said to myself clearly: if you stay now, you are actively participating in your own mistreatment [and nobody is to blame for that but you].
I have been told that immature men like this (sorry) 'split' women into madonnas and whores, and I absolutely know this has happened to me and it happened at the birth of our first. I became 'Mummy' and housewife, and his OW is beautiful, caring, exotic, wondrous feminine.
PS whilst you are processing, and it might take years, PLEASE start squirrelling money NOW. The only urgent advice I am going to give you!
This is an amazing thread. OP if you can work through the thoughts here, asking yourself the questions posed here, and as Hec said own your decision you will have saved yourself a fucking fortune in therapy. And hopefully a well of tears too.
My view, FWIW is that he slmost certainly can't change, but that's irrelevant because what he has done is so bad I couldn't forgive it anyway.
Also just to draw out one issue lots of people have touched on but perhaps haven't fully explained (not a criticism and I may have over looked it) - his self loathing as a red flag.
In some ways you may be wondering why that is a red flag - he's done hateful things, he should hate himself. But that's not the end of it. He hates himself and he knows you love him. He considers himself contemptible and low, he is ashamed of himself. And yet that is a person you have loved.
He's got a very low opinion of himself. But nowhere near as low as his opinion of you, someone who can love the hateful mess he has become. He thinks you must be a total loser and ergo, you deserve no better than he has meted out.
Thank you so much for your posts. I am reading and re-reading them. I have come a long way since first posting 11 weeks ago today under the name Bejesus. I have got my first counselling session in half an hour. I am nervous, but also so so ready for it. It took a good 2 weeks for the initial shock to go. Then I was up and down, sobbing one minute and blocking it out the next. This week I feel different though. Ambivalent perhaps? Certainly much stronger. Collapsing and fitting last weekend seemed to be a turning point. Wish me luck with my appointment (if he returns from tennis in time to look after DC2 and DC3!).
You mentioned some DV incidents alpha, I really strongly advise you not to enter couples counselling with this man, abusers (and he is an abuser) use counselling as an extension of their abuse. Men like your partner are superficially charming and can be very manipulative. Ensure counselling is your safe space, not his.
I agree - he is manipulative. This was MY counselling session. It was only the assessment, but was with a psychologist and was good! I enjoyed it - and it has given me some thoughts for self reflection.
Yes I saw you said it was a session for you,but you mentioned couples counselling in an earlier post and I really wanted to advise against that.
I'm glad you got something out of it. Keep strong.
Please hold my hand - he has gone. I am sobbing
hand holding --not much useful advice but will be here if you want to talk.
Tell us what happened tonight?
I am sorry, love.
Be brave. You will get over this and go on to have a better life. I promise you this x
This is a good thing. Believe it or not this is the beginning of a new, peaceful life for you, one in which you don't have to feel the last vestige of self respect slide away as someone you once loved looks you straight in the eye and lies through their teeth.
You're in shock and you're mourning the relationship you wanted to have. He can still be a good father to your children but he's a lousy partner and you genuinely don't need him.
I gave him this evening to talk, to lay it all on the table. He want in the right frame of mind to talk. I showed him the door. I have to let go of what I thought I had. Of the man I thought he was. He will try and talk tomorrow. I have to be strong. God I am gutted
He hasn't been the man you thought he was for some time
perhaps he never was, and never could be
I know - and that is so so sad. That is what is hard. the reality v. what i th9ough we had
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