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How to get over this? (sorry long)(25 Posts)
DH had an affair. We have decided to try and rebuild our marriage, and we're mostly getting there. The issue I have isn't to do with this but something that happened a few years ago, but it's making the moving on difficult.
DH was away for a couple of days on business. He took an old friend (female) out for a meal as they both happened to be in the same town. I was fine with this until he got home and was unpacking. I was sat on the bed chatting when he became very cagey and closed his suitcase with just his hankies left in it. He then went into the bathroom and something, god knows what, made me get up and check the hankies. Nestled in among them was a condom. We had been using condoms for a few months until his all clear on his vasectomy and this was the last one - but why had he taken it with him?
I challenged him immediately, and instead of answering, he went quiet and walked out of the room. I went after him and eventually he said, he found it among the hankies (it was in the same drawer) and thought I wouldn't believe him so he hid it from me.
My immediate thought was that he clearly hadn't used it while away this time but if he took it with him deliberately then he must have been vaguely certain that he might have the opportunity i.e. he'd been there before (he worked frequently away with this woman, but at the time I wasn't worried).
This issue was never resolved. I was depressed and I'm only just coming out of it, so I basically just pigeon holed it and ignored it, we were rarely intimate due to lots of issues so it just laid there festering for 4 years.
With his admittance of this affair, I obviously brought back up this incident. He swears blind that he never did anything with her, or ever wanted to. He has admitted to lots worse than this, so why not admit to it if he did do something?
So, I have a choice
1) believe him - he was fairly safe in the knowledge that it wouldn't affect us getting back together if he did admit to something, so why continue to lie?
2) ask someone who was there working at the same time. 1 guy works for us, 1 is DH's friend. Not professional to ask first and second has more loyalty to DH than me.
3) let it carry on festering which is not good for our recovery.
I want option 1 but just don't know how to do it, how do I stop the doubts creeping in?
You don't trust him. I don't blame you.
His reason for the condom sounds weak to me.
But you have no proof per se.
It's a form of torture.
I agree with the torture thing, but he has told me everything I have asked, and some of the answers have been worse than expected. So why continue to lie about this? As he said, it would be easier for him to tell me that he had slept with her, than to cope with me talking about it night after night.
Well possibly because lying comes quite easily to him, perhaps he feeds you a mix of both, who knows. From reading what you have written I would instinctively think he'd shagged the lady he met there for dinner, just because he says no doesn't mean he is not lying, it all looks very dodgy, it being there, hidden, him walking out when questioned (to hide his guilt).....
He knows you know he has that affair on his conscience, (I say conscience, he probably doesn't have one).
It is second nature to some people both men and women to lie until they're blue in the face.
In a small mean mind, he may think aah, ohtobemeagain knows about the affair, that's water under the bridge, we're working to resolve that.
Now that you've reminded him of the condom-in-suitcase incident, he thinks oh shit! More trouble. So he panics and his default is to lie.
Fwiw if he didn't actually dtd I would guess he was hoping to get lucky.
He does actually appear remorseful. Someone posted a link to a website (chump something???) with a good quiz on telling if he was truly remorseful and DH only failed on 1 issue.
He said that me finding out about the affair was a real wake up call, and he realises what he could still very easily lose. Yes, he followed the script initially but we have come a very long way. Something he did confess to, that I would never have found out about otherwise, was almost a deal breaker. NSA with this woman is fairly mild compared to this confession ( I don't want to get into too many details as threads have a habit of going off topic especially if certain things are mentioned).
The affair he admitted to (and I do believe that it has been the only "affair") hurt me as he was emotionally involved with someone else. He is only just getting it that it was loving someone else that hurt more than shagging her. Now he gets that, why not admit to shagging this other woman? (pretty certain it would have been just shagging).
I haven't just brought up the condom incident, it has been part of the discussions all along, and he has been very consistent with his story.
"Why continue to lie"?
Well maybe that depends on the reason he has given you for why he had the affair.
Is he trying to pass it off as a MLC type situation? Or perhaps he's blamed you for a lack if intimacy / growing apart?
Neither of those reasons would hold water if you found out he had a previous affair, would they?
Hatpin - sorry what is MLC?
The affair was because he fancied her, to be totally blunt. It started as emotional, she was more needy than me, bringing out the knight in him type thing, where as I am much more independent. Opportunity played a big part as well, he was staying away during the week (my suggestion). She kept asking him for help, flattering him etc.
I don't understand why you don't get why he is lying about the condom incident
Surely Two episodes of infidelity are very much worse than one, because of course it implies he is a serial offender and very unlikely to stop
This time it was an emotional thing that was lacking in our marriage, various reasons for which I am partly to blame (he has never blamed me I am doing that) The other incident would have been just sex.
.....and next time your excuse for him will be ???
Based on my experience, just because there was a condom in the bag it doesn't mean he didn't use another one or more. Or didn't use anything at all.
I don't think this is innocent. I'm sorry
Have you negotiated an open marriage, or was that a unilateral decision made by him ?
Come on...why would emotional problems in the marriage excuse or explain extra marital sex? You are taking the blame for him playing away from home. Would you solve your emotional problems by shagging someone else? ...no... And neither would he. It's bullshit designed to blame you for his dicking about
I have a major issue with lying and I'm a control freak so I HAVE to know everything. This may sound silly, but I basically gave him an amnesty. If he told me everything there would be no further repercussions.
It was a bit of a risk and I did find out something really really bad, much worse than NSA whilst working away. What he told me I would never have found out otherwise. There was no paper trail, phone trail, witnesses or anything. No record at all, and I was never likely to meet the other party, so why tell me this, for which he was mortified and not admit to NSA whilst away, which I had already said was just sex and that wasn't as bad as loving someone else in my eyes.
Who knows ? Deceitful people sometimes do it just for the power trip
Your mistake is in trying to understand him and ignoring what it actually tells you about the kind of man he is
You have to know everything but he doesn't have to tell everything. He says you know everything but it seems you don't really believe that. It's difficult. Been there. Don't feel guilty for not trusting if he's not trust worthy.
AF sorry I'm not trying to excuse him, I'm trying to play Devil's advocate.
I know the condom thing looks very dodgy, but he is so adamant that it's not. There is no way he can prove it's innocent, just as there is no way I can prove it's not, unless we involve other people. He is willing for me to ask other people if that is what it is going to take. I can even ring the woman concerned.
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I have met her and there was no atmosphere of any kind between the 2 of them. She wasn't in any way weird around me or anything. She was acting exactly the same way as the other people that used to work together on this. The meal took place after I met her. They do correspond, but in the past 4 years, there have probably been 2 phone calls and 3 emails, all work orientated.
He may have been
a bit honest about the affair he's admitted to.
But admitting another, or even the intention to have another, opens him up to SO much more questioning and mistrust from you.
It doesn't follow to say 'well he's been honest about this, why not that?'
Because 'that' is a whole other can of worms.
Ergo he's probably lying imo.
I'm not sure you can make yourself believe someone. You can decide to act as if you do and perhaps that works for some people.
What sticks out to me is that you haven't, as a couple, moved on. Because as well as the real known about affair to deal with, there is this odd incident that may or may not constitute an affair. And you are dealing with all the uncomfortable feelings and he is - well, who knows because you don't trust him.
You have to be true to what you believe in. If you don't trust him, then you don't. And operate from genuine lack of trust rather than fake trust.
x-post. Yeah well SHE wasn't interested. But that possibly didn't stop him from hoping she'd be up for it and packing the condom.
Sorry but it didn't just fall into his suitcase by accident.
You're trying to convince yourself that he would tell you now wouldn't he, because if he didn't he will have lied over an extended period and still be continuing the lie.
If that was a condom from a previous holiday he would have forgotten about it & been surprised it was there. If you think it was the last one from a pack of condoms in your house he can only have taken it with him because he was hoping to have sex. He didn't take it to clean his teeth with did he?
Now, he may not have got sex, but the intention was there.
I'm sure your H has the nous to know that if he admits to considering cheating on you back then, it will be all the harder to fix your marriage now, because the deception will extend over a wider timescale.
If it were me I would not believe a word he said about anything by this point. If he worked so hard to cover up traces of his recent affair, then you have no guarantee there weren't others you didn't rumble...
Was the condom you found the very same one that was left from home? I wouldn't know, tbh, but as a control freak it's likely you did know exactly. Did your condoms live in his hanky drawer?
I'm afraid that the way she acted around him & you says nothing. I've done it - it was easy, as we were already good friends and the shag was never going to be more than an unwise one-off. We didn't use a condom, either ... The horrid truth is, your instinct is a better guide than endless examination of the what-ifs. And your instinct made you look in his case that day.
I'm inclined to feel you haven't fully trusted him since then. This makes your current recovery project even more difficult - but the difficulty is actually in the bargains you're making with yourself, iyswim, rather than in details of what he did behind your back.
How has your relationship changed since all this happened? Can you compare it to the one you had before 'hankygate', and say what's different; what's better or worse?
Yes it was the one - at least it was the same make, colour etc, and yes they did live in the same drawer as the hankies, and it wasn't in the drawer still iyswim. So, it is actually believable.
Before "hankygate" I had had a third miscarriage and it all went horribly wrong and I ended up very sick in hospital - hence the snip. I became depressed and basically shut down. Prior to that, we were okay.
This is why I basically just ignored it - I couldn't process it, so I just didn't. Whilst the depression wasn't caused by Hankygate, it obviously didn't help, I just assumed he had lied, and chose to ignore it.
We are now trying to get back to what we had before I got sick. Most of the time it's good. When it's bad, he tries so hard to help me, answering questions, giving me full transparency on all media, he will do anything I ask to help me heal - he's currently reading the Shirley Glass book. Each time I get flashbacks, he answers questions, offers anything I need.
This is just the latest flashback. He is either lying or telling the truth. Being a control freak, I want proof - of whichever way it is - but there isn't any proof.
Crikey, you have been through the mill I well recognise that feeling of "can't cope with this now" ... you shut things away in a mental cupboard, knowing they'll probably resurface later, but not really caring as long as you haven't got to deal with them now. My profound sympathy.
It does sound as if he's doing what he should - he's showing commitment, honouring your despair & anxieties, reading Dr Glass [impressed] There's no guarantee it'll work, but I wonder whether getting back to how things were is the right objective for the pair of you? When couples succeed in rebuilding after a devastated relationship, they tend to build a new relationship. It makes sense: you have both changed; your lives have changed; your family's a different shape and your shared history has altered dramatically. I think the love and commitment to make it work have to be there underneath it all, and on top of that you have these incredible emotional dramas forming a backdrop to whatever you do now. Such dramas do cast new, piercing light on each of your personalities, as well as the relationships you have between you. I am sure you know each other - and, one hopes, yourselves - better than you did a few years ago.
As to Hankygate, I don't know what to suggest although I'm pretty confident you will figure it out. Might it be a good idea to go back to counselling (by yourself) in order to poke this one around in more depth?
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