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Devastated and blindsided. What now?

(101 Posts)
Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 11:51:00

Name changed for this post to avoid outing myself but I'm looking for a little bit of hand holding and some clarity. My DH suddenly left my 6 year old DD and myself 5 weeks ago for an old friend he had bumped into again after 20 years. After some initial to-and-froing (and even a reconciliation holiday in Disneyland that went disastrously wrong) he is moving into rented accommodation near his work and I am devastated and angry and every emotion in between. We own our house and a successful(ish) business and he is throwing all this away and only asking for one night a fortnight access to DD who was the centre of his world up until this.

I'm struggling to make sense of it all.

We had, what I thought, was a fantastic 12 year marriage. Tactile, still regular sex, lots of laughter but now he tells me I was an argumentative, abusive nightmare......a backstory I think he has since invented to justify his affair although he has me questioning this. There had been huge arguments but all about his sudden suspicious behaviour after meeting OW. He can't officially be with her as she has a DD the same age and has just been awarded a full bursary to a v exclusive all-girls school because of her lone parent, low income status hence DH 'renting' as a smoke screen. Because of this detail he won't admit they are in a relationship either but we have friends of friends in common and the OW likes to boast. And she has form.....she recently had an affair with another married man who left his wife and 2 DC's for a while before crawling back. She goes for the ones she thinks are wealthy. Not sure if that is relevant but wanted to share. And to bitch.

How do I move on?!! About from the hurt I am furious that he is renting and fully furnishing a new property to provide cover for his affair and giving my DD and I little money to survive on. The business is suffering and we are attempting to still run it together but it's incredibly painful. He is desperate to integrate DD into a new life with OW and her DD and I could cry my heart out. I want my old life back!!!

Sorry it's so long and thank you so very much for reading through it!

Dahlen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:22:03

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much at the moment. It's palpable in your post. sad

For now, please concentrate on yourself and DD. I know it's easier said than done, but get enough sleep, take regular exercise, and eat good-quality food regularly. Talk to your friends, family and MN as much as possible. The more you offload and work through this, the easier it will be to deal with.

I think you are spot on in your assessment of the situation - your H inventing a backstory to justify his affair. It's typical of adulterers. He has yet to realise that it's all an illusion. The OW seemed to provide a temporary respite from the shortcomings in his own life, but all he's done is mask those with a smokescreen that will eventually lift. He will probably come to bitterly regret it and may come crawling back to you. By then, however, if you have done any healing at all, you will be reluctant to take him back without evidence that he has learned from the experience (which means no blaming you, even by 1%) - if indeed you want him back at all.

You can't control your DH's behaviour, or his relationship with your DD. I know it's probably the latter that hurts more than anything. sad If you run after your H you will just end up losing your self-respect, and even assuming you could shame him into stepping up to his emotional responsibilities towards his child, if it's not freely given it's not worth having. Your DD is better learning as soon as possible what to realistically expect from her father so that he can't let her down. His financial responsibilities are a different story, however. Whether that's freely given or not, he should be made to provide. If he's not being fair in what he gives you, push for more.

The only way you can deal with this is to accept that your H is not coming back and isn't that interested in his DD. You are entitled to be raging about that, but if you start your recovery on that basis, any improvement on it will be a pleasant surprise. If you keep hoping for something better, you will just end up getting hurt over and over again, becoming steadily more bitter. Try to consider it like a bereavement. You can't change it and it's a waste of time to try. But accept that it hurts and allow yourself to grieve.

Best of luck. flowers

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 24-Sep-13 13:03:04

I agree with everything above. It's utterly horrible to have someone seemingly switch personality overnight, go from love to hate before your very eyes, drop you like yesterday's chips and then fling accusations at you in order to justify their own selfish behaviour. The phrase 'adding insult to injury' doesn't cover it... I've been there. I know it's tempting to blame the OW as if she's some mythical siren, luring your helpless DH onto the rocks and him powerless to resist... but he's the one at fault here. He could have made different choices but didn't. He could have ended it kindly, but he chose to be cruel. He could be doing the decent thing financially but he's happy to leave his own child short of cash.

So all you can do is look after yourself and your DD. Be with friends and family, stay busy and, if he's a wealthy man wasting family cash , get a really good lawyer.

Good luck

ageofgrandillusion Tue 24-Sep-13 13:21:29

You have to move on without this fuckwit. He sounds like a prick.
One thing I would say is can you look at either selling the business or him buying you out? Have you had it valued? Working with this knobber will just make life even harder.
As for him giving you little to live on, have you seen a solicitor?

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 13:22:31

Thank you, Dahlen for your lovely and incredibly helpful reply. You were right with so many of your points. I'm afraid I have already chased after DH numerous times and we have 'made up' on four or five occasions but I can tell his heart isn't in immediately. And I hate myself for allowing him to belittle me in front of our daughter and wonder what message I'm sending her.

Part of me is immensely relieved he wants so little access but I feel so sorry for my DD. She is incredible and I can't imagine giving up what he is giving up. Was I that awful? Is the OW that irresistible? Why is he turning his whole life on it's head? The thought of not having DD here for even one night hurts so incredibly that I can hardly breathe. I thought we were such an unbreakable unit, the three of us.

My lawyer is pushing for a fair financial outcome and to be honest the allowance being mentioned is manageable but will just mean a huge adjustment in lifestyle for me and DD which I know sounds horribly spoilt. It isn't meant to. We were never exactly rolling in it initially.

It feels like a bereavement, you're right. I lost my DM to cancer after a grueling 6 months in a hospice on Christmas Day the year before last and I don't feel I ever recovered from that blow. I feel I have lost everyone I ever loved one by one and only have my wonderful DD now which puts horrendous pressure on her. I feel surrounded by fantastic friends but very alone at the same time. I'm no longer a daughter and now no longer a wife. Finding it tough.

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 13:32:31

Just refreshed and saw the great posts from Cognito and ageof too. Thanks so much.

Cognito sorry you've been through similar too. It's the rejection, both of me and DD that I can't stand. It's the amount that he had to lose and the little thought he put into going ahead anyway that riles me.

He has been incredibly cruel. We were on a family holiday just after he met her and he was calling OW in front of my daughter and telling her "not to tell Mummy". He is the fuckwit that ageof says and more! He shouted at me so much in Disneyland that DD wet herself. I don't know who he is anymore and I don't know who I am to put my gorgeous little girl in that position.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 24-Sep-13 13:43:00

It's easier said than done but 'who he is' is not your concern any more. You may not be a wife any more but you'll always be your DM's daughter. Just because people die it doesn't mean they stop loving us or vice versa IYKWIM. I lost my lovely granny about 11 years ago (wow... I've just realised how long it's been) bet, even now, when I need a bit of courage, I can feel the pride and love she had for me my whole life.

Life may be disrupted short-term but this is the kind of thing that can really bind us to our DCs and make a good relationship even better. Without his cruelty you'll both quickly feel more settled and confident. Money can't buy that.

wheredidiputit Tue 24-Sep-13 13:46:41

As I have said on more then one occasion. He has to lie. He has to blame you.

For the simple reason for him to admit even for one second that he is this lying, cheat then he can not look himself in the face and acknowledge what he has done. He may do in time, but not now.

Don't agree to anything unless you believe is fair to you. You don't need to be fair to him. Your priorities need to be your DD and yourself. Yes you may have to adjust your life style but hopefully not to much.

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 14:05:11

You're all right, of course. The huge argument on holiday was because I had asked him to tell me the area, roughly, where she lived as we live in a fairly big city but we had bumped into her nearby and I wanted to know if she was local as DD was worried about meeting her and her daughter again. They had been at summer camp together and we all met on the last day.

Needless to say he lied as I had meanwhile text a friend who would know and tell me the truth and so he was full of rage when I told him. I then discovered he was still in constant contact with the OW and had seen her again, something he had previous denied and "sworn on DD's life". He can't stop telling huge lies that impact everything we do and everything we were.

I will get over this, I know.

SweetSeraphim Tue 24-Sep-13 14:08:49

I remember you posting when you found out about this, I think.

So, so sorry. What an absolute prick thanks

Ack, I'm so sorry you're living this right now. You don't deserve it, nobody does. Put yourself and your DD first x

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 14:44:48

Thanks so much everyone and apologies SweetSeraphim but this is my first post on this so someone else must be going through a similar thing. sad

He is an absolute prick though.

SweetSeraphim Tue 24-Sep-13 15:02:37

Oh god, sorry. Still, at least we agree on something wink

I do understand what you're going through, to some extent. My exp didn't cheat on me, but he did cut contact with our dd when we split, she hasn't seen him for almost 10 years now, and like you, she seemed to be his world. It's something that I will never understand.

You know what though? She's almost 16 now, and although I periodically offer to help her get in contact with him (she has her cousins on his side on FB), she's just not interested. His loss in the end....

I know that's hard for you to see right now though. I really feel for you.

cls77 Tue 24-Sep-13 15:19:46

I have been through similar in the past year, and it was just me and my DD left (she is 11). We had a huge row whilst on holiday with my parents, and at the time I felt terrible putting my daughter through that. She saw way too much in her early childhood that to this day I am only just realising. He was a compulsive liar, and an addict and emotionally abused me for years. The important thing is to take it one day at a time, your daughter will help you through this without even doing anything. You will become stronger, and all the financial/practical stuff will settle - not necessarily how we would all like - but it will.
And something Dahlen said : stepping up to his emotional responsibilities towards his child, if it's not freely given it's not worth having - I wish I had been told this a year ago. Even now it breaks my heart that he never bothers with her without a push from me. DD knows it too, and expects nothing from him at all. It is very hard sad

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 17:38:23

cls77 and Sweet I can't believe he would want so little contact with DD in the early days which doesn't bode well for the future. I don't know how you both coped. DD was allegedly (2 weeks after he had met OW) the reason that was broke up.....we were arguing in front of her!! He wanted to 'protect her'. Any disagreements we had were about his sneaky behaviour after he met OW!

He said he loved DD with all his heart. I truly believed that. It's now clear that his love isn't unconditional and not as strong as his feelings for OW.

cls and Sweet I'm sorry that you have both gone through this with your DD but you are giving me clarity and strength. Thank you. It is his loss.

Mrscaindingle Tue 24-Sep-13 17:42:43

You've had some great advice already Dahlen and Cogito always give great advice on these threads.
So I'm just going to sympathise as someone who's going through something similar I know just how you feel.

My ex hasn't admitted to another woman yet and as he lives thousands of miles away I've no way of proving it but I sure it will come to light sooner or later. But by then hopefully my reaction will be 'meh'.
What Wheredidiputit says about them not being able to face themselves in the mirror if they admit it to themselves rings true with me.

My beef with my ex is that he seems to think its acceptable to live thousands of miles away from his 2 DS and just take them on holiday every now and then. There is a poster on AIBU ( who may or may not have hairy hands) who is actively encouraging her DS to take her side and not see his Dad.
My heart breaks for my fabulous DS's as your does for your fabulous DD, they deserve much better than this.


cls77 Tue 24-Sep-13 19:11:27

Hopefully all here to help each other, I know cogito helped on my thread a few weeks back, and everyone seems to give great advice. At the end of the day one great (hopefully for me?!) parent is better than seeing one abuse the other, however it is done. I know it hurts, and some days you'll seem to be full of lots of questions, but the important thing is that our dc's know we love them, encourage them and be there sadly if/when they realise what the other parent is really like.
i know the hardest thing for me has been accepting that he is with someone else who has two small children. My DD had always wanted a brother or sister but H didn't want kids (even said in front of dd that he didn't want kids - he was asked to move out after this). It breaks mine and dd's heart to know he would much rather be with them now.

Here if you need us smile

FrancescaBell Tue 24-Sep-13 21:11:28

Oh sweetheart. I feel a bit of a fraud coming on to your thread because this has never happened to me, but I've known so many people who've behaved as idiotically and cruelly as your husband, all because of a sudden intense affair.

Some of them did that history re-writing that you've mentioned. Bad idea to try it with me though, 'cause I've got the memory of an elephant. Think of Margaret in The Apprentice's quizzical arched eyebrow who on hearing tales of marital misery said: "Oh really? How come you were saying only 6 months ago that if you ever lost your wife, you'd be devastated? (said at a funeral of a colleague by a man 6 months before he started philandering with a Facebook old flame.) Well, that was me to this stupid, stupid man. I wanted to shake him for his idiocy.

As you can imagine, within months he was regretting his folly and crying into his pint about how he'd lost the best thing that had ever happened to him (his wife). He had as well. I gather that after the initial shock and devastation, she rose magnificently from the ashes, got her old career back and when last heard of, was happily ensconced with a new flame.

The best advice I can give you is to follow her lead. If he sees you getting on with your life and coping well he's more likely to come crawling back than if you dissemble. But really I'm hoping you'll be like my ex-colleague's wife and get to the point where you wouldn't have him back under any circumstances.

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 21:27:36

Thanks so much everyone. Can't believe I'm finding so much comfort in reading all of your answers and thinking "Yes, this is me!!!".

This evening didn't go as planned...ended up asking him on the phone how he really felt about OW and he said it was nothing to do with me. I lied called his bluff and said that I'd heard that she had said he had left his wife for her and rented a new house but she wasn't convinced she wanted to be with him. blush

He went mad and wanted to know who she had said that to and when and that confirmed to me all I needed to know. As I said up thread, we have sort of mutual friends and he really thought this was plausible. His reaction was frantic and obsessive.

Andwhynot Tue 24-Sep-13 21:48:08

Francesca Please don't feel a fraud. I did do a lot of the Margaret eyebrow in the first few weeks. I would love to think of him crying into his pint but oddly he has stopped drinking....and started smoking. No idea the psychology behind that but he is addicted and can't stop even in front of DD.

Mrsc I feel so sorry for you and what Wheredidiputit said about the mirror struck a chord with me too.

MariaLuna Tue 24-Sep-13 22:01:02

He shouted at me so much in Disneyland that DD wet herself.

Just be thankful you are out of this asshole's life.
You have saved your DD from a horrendous life, and yourself too.

skyeskyeskye Tue 24-Sep-13 22:55:35

Sorry you are going through this, my XH walked out on me with no warning and it hurts. A doting father or so everybody thought... Now by his own choice he sees DD one a fortnight and that's it. He said in December that he couldn't bear to think if DD's face if he wasnt there each morning (said after the neighbours split up). Just two months later, after getting hooked into OW, he was gone.

"I want my life back", oh so many times I have said that. The man he was us home forever, but it doesn't stop you wanting it never go have happened.

My XH changed beyond recognition, his appearance, his character, everything. They get their new life and forget the old one. While the infatuation is there they can't see beyond it. And yes, of course, history was rewritten. He cuddled me every night in bed, we made love regularly, yet according to him it had been wrong for ages and he hadnt loved me for some time. Funny how it all seemed OK to me....

Of course he decided all of this after getting involved emotionally with his mates wife and thousands of texts flying between them...... I also had the family holiday where he texted/emailed OW throughout, while I thought that everything was going ok!

It is astounding how many men do this to their wives and DC and walk away without a care in the world for what they have done.

You need to see him for the man he is now, not the man he was. They are two different people. It's not easy but you will get through it. Just sort yourself out financially and look after yourself and DD.

cjel Tue 24-Sep-13 23:11:02

sorry to read all this, its very familiar to me as well i its any help! we had the conversation where he said he'd told her how hard it had been for him living with my depressions (although he then though it sounded like bi polar- which he wouldn't have known about - it came from her!) I pointed out did he tell her that the rape, abuse and violence may have had something to do with it and he just said' you're sick you really need help'!!!
My dd also had christmas drunk chat when he said he couldn't have done everything he'd done with his life if it hadn't been for me 3 months before!!! our dcs are grown up but he was the greatest grandad and family man prior to this and now hardly see them all, it would have been daily before.
I don't know why they change so much either, but would second think about you and dc and not him.

cakehappy Tue 24-Sep-13 23:37:45

Hi OP. I can't say I'm in the same situation but I fully understand I could be, apparently this staggering change is very very common when fallen under the influence of an OW. So hard to believe. However...I read somewhere on mumsnet that women cry during the split, recover and heal as they are aware of what is happening. The men...they cry after. When they realise what they have done. Your husband is going to cry a lot someday. You will be okay...I can tell you've got a lot of internal strength. I'm sorry for your pain and I feel so for your daughter as well, but she's got you. And you her, which is more than your DH can say. He really is the real loser here although he doesn't know it yet. Take care.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 25-Sep-13 06:34:16

'Fallen under the influence'? hmm Can we knock this 'men can't think for themselves' myth on the head? Like every other man in his position he is a free-thinking adult and he has chosen to be with a different woman to his DW quite voluntarily. The only thing influencing him is the scraggy collection of fleshy bits dangling between his legs...

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