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Getting over an EA - sorry for long post.(119 Posts)
Hi, I'm new on here and have read a few other threads on this subject but am really struggling to move forward from my dh's EA.
Back in April I found emails between him and a woman who works for him arranging a lunchtime 'date'. At the time he swore it was just a drink, that he had felt uncomfortable with it and only stayed for one drink. However, I then found out that they'd been chatting online a lot. I'd been suspicious as he'd started playing a word game online and seemed obsessed with it - now I know why!
We decided to move forward and I thought things were going OK. However, in June I then found out, by looking at his texts, that he'd met up with her again (they still work together) and that during a boys day out at the races he'd spent most of the day texting her. When I asked him to restore his iphone messages (as he'd deleted all but the last one) he refused and admitted that they'd talked about taking things further i.e having sex but, again, swore that nothing had happened.
We went to one session of Relate but he didn't want to go back as he felt that it didn't do anything and that we were already doing everything suggested i.e date nights, checking in with regular texts etc and giving access to his emails and texts.
Again, I tried to move on and thought things were looking up. In August we went on holiday with our best friends and their children (we also have two). On the first day there I picked up his phone, totally innocently and saw an email he'd sent to her that morning from a Hotmail account I didn't know existed. It said that he'd had a great time on their 'day out' which turns out was the day before we flew on holiday. He said that she was beautiful and that he'd tried to kiss her but she'd rejected him!
I'm not proud of this but I ended up emailing her and telling her that unless she left the company I would tell her bf as I couldn't see any other way forward. After one text she threated me with a solicitors letter (via email and turns out it's a friend of hers) with a court injunction if I contacted her or her bf! She then went on to tell me that MY actions had left her so stressed she had to take time off sick and was on antidepressants.
I was devastated and obviously it totally ruined our holiday (and that of our friends). Since then, I've found out that they went out 5 or so times and that they did kiss (twice) at a work event where they were both drunk but he insists nothing else happened and that he regrets it and wants to be with me and to move on.
She also reported this to my dh's boss and insinuated he'd been sexually harassing her, apparently also on the advice of her solicitor friend!! When the boss suggested they retrieve all emails between them to establish the facts etc she retracted the letter and said she would look for another job.
Basically, I don't know if I'm coming or going. It's been about 8-9 weeks since I found out but I still cry a lot and feel sick whenever I think about it. I just can't trust him and question everything. She still works there and on his first day back in the office she tried to contact him via their office IM and asked how he was etc. He didn't respond and told her verbally he didn't want any communication with her expect for work emails but it's certainly not ideal as he sees her every day, she reports to him and I see constant emails from her (albeit work related).
He won't go to counselling and although he is making an effort I just don't know if it's enough. I know it wasn't sexual (or at least I'm pretty sure it wasn't) but to me it feels as though he kept choosing her over me (and our family) even though he knew how much it would hurt me.
How do I move forward? Will I ever trust him again? Any suggestions??
Money is not a good enough reason as I have never seen it work and have seen a fair few break ups amongst friends in teh last 5 years.
noddyholder - I know what you're saying but I believe that you have to take everything into consideration when making a decision of that magnitude.
It's definitely not the over-riding reason because, believe me, after all of this, if I didn't still love him I wouldn't be here but it's one small part of this - not for me as I could happily live anywhere but the impact of our children would be massive.
Well right now your options seem to be
1 put up and shut up, don't kick up such a big fuss the next time
2 force the issue by asking him to give you some space and making it clear that if he doesn't start doing some major work on himself and your marriage that you will divorce him
'LTB' is not the advice. But if the 'B' knows you'd never 'L' no matter how badly he behaves, you put yourself in a very weak position and it will continue to be exploited.
Not much of a choice huh? I get that I'm being pathetic at this but it's my decision to stay and see how things pan out and I get that I have to live with the consequences of that etc etc.
I suppose I was just looking for confirmation (or not) of what others have done in similar situations and if they ever rebuilt the trust (assuming it didn't happen again) or if at some point you have to accept that life/your relationship is just different going forward.
You are not pathetic at all BUT he needs to be the active one not you. I think you should ask him to go even temporarily.
No, YOU are not being pathetic.
But he is.
He is the one who had an affair and he is refusing to do anything at all to fix it.
So, no there is no chance you will ever rebuild trust because you'd be a fool to trust a man who cheats on you and then insists you "move on" while refusing to go to counselling.
People recover from affairs when their partners are truly repentant and prepared to make whatever amends are necessary.
If you want to fix your marriage for the long term, you need to fight for it not just sit around letting him call the shots.
People who move out can move in again.
People who stop respecting you generally just treat you worse and worse until you are either completely broken and accepting of their shitty treatment, or you leave to preserve your self-respect.
Firstly, you need total transparency. That means recovering all his texts and e-mails (if poss) and reading them. I strongly suspect you'll find out there was sex. There usually is.
Next, with ALL the information, you need to work out if you want a future with this man.
If you do, he needs to be willing to do whatever it takes to fix it - including come to counselling, regardless of whether he thinks it'll work or not. He doesn't get a say.
Unless all three of these steps occur, you can never move on.
It is never the same but some people can get through it and build an alternative. I couldn't but I didn't have children so was easier to go. I lost respect for myself though as I knew I was covering for him and trying to keep things the same
noddyholder - he's actually away on business from tomorrow until Friday so think it's an opportunity to have some time apart and see how we feel.
I have missed out that when we got back from our disastrous holiday he did book us a 5 day break in Portugal, just the two of us which is the first time ever and it was great. So he is doing things to try and show he's sorry.
Buying himself a holiday and bringing you along in NOT doing things to show he is sorry.
If he was sorry he'd do whatever you asked to put things right.
His refusal to go to counselling is his way of continuing to set the agenda and force you into accepting his behaviour.
Stick up for yourself.
If that means the end of your marriage, it was never a marriage worth having.
The trouble with this is, half of what you write in your posts as 'fact' is coming from a proven liar. Unless you've spoken to your husband's boss, the OW's boyfriend and unless you've seen all their communications and have been a fly on the wall at all their assignations, you don't know anything.
So it's just as possible that this affair is still ongoing, it's long since become sexual, there was no allegation of sexual harassment and because of all the fuss, they've found other ways to communicate, which is why all you see now are anodyne 'business' e mails.
I wouldn't let him invade your space at counselling, but please tell us it's not Relate is it?
Go on your own.
I really think you need some time and space of your own to reflect on how many lies you've been told, to separate what is belief from absolute facts- and to work through the barriers you've got to separating.
It's so true that he knows you won't leave, so there's no real incentive to tell the truth and start the process of finding out why he did this and why he's a habitual liar.
A relationship can only get past something like this if the cheater takes total responsibility for their reactions, is totally transparent from the beginning and does everything they can to put it right
he is failing on all 3 counts so I think you looking for someone to tell you it's all going to be alright is a non starter
JoinYourPlayfellows- I don't think he was buying himself a holiday. He didn't have to do anything at all but he did and we had a good time. I know that makes me sound as if I'm making excuses for him, believe me I'm not, I was just trying to say that he has been taking action in different ways.
FrancescaBell - we did go to Relate but to be honest neither of us found it great. However, we'd only been once so I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I should find an independent counsellor and see them on my own first to get a few things straight in my own head.
You're also right in that I haven't seen everything text/email wise but I have seen the text he sent her to say I knew everything and that he wanted it all to stop and wouldn't be communicating anymore. He also came home the next night and told me that she had again tried to contact him in the office to ask if he'd meant it. He said that he'd told her he did and I suppose I can choose to believe him or not!
I did overhear the conversation with his boss when it all came out on our holiday as he put him on loud speaker. I certainly heard his boss confirm what she had alleged and that when he suggested looking at emails for confirmation of this that she immediately retracted her letter and said that she didn't want to do that. He also said in that conversation that she had told him her bf had given her an ultimatum and that she would be leaving as a result of that.
Taking real action involves taking a long hard look at himself to understand AND address personality traits and issues that justified having an affair and betraying you and his DC.
Have you read Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends? Its an excellent book describing work place affairs and how to recover from these.
"He didn't have to do anything at all"
And does he know it.
What a massive sacrifice he made going on an expensive, child-free holiday with his wife.
It must have been hell.
Aren't you insulted that he basically thinks he can buy you off with a holiday while refusing to do simple things like show you his communications with his girlfriend or attend counselling?
MissScatterBrain- not read that one. We did get the one recommended by Relate but not that good so will buy this one and have a read. thanks.
Joinyourplayfellows - I hadn't looked at it as buying me off. I thought he was trying to make some time for us and show me he was sorry and wanted to try and make things work. You could well be right though, I can't second guess him on that.
Having read everyone's posts I think i need to ask him to restore all the deleted texts (no idea how the iOS upgrade might affect that but suppose his reaction will say enough) so I know as much of the truth as possible. I'm also going to book an independent counsellor for myself, perhaps he can come along at a later date if he chooses to, and assuming I want him too!
Rewarding him/letting him reward himself with a child free sunshine holiday was not really a sign that he "gets it"
I wonder how you will feel if you find out that he was still in contact with OP while you were on that holiday, and in actual fact still is
it's pretty likely, OP, going off what you have said so far, I am sorry to say
there will be another phone/email address/whatsapp account that will have the real truth in it somewhere
Good idea to restore the messages. Is he open with his phone now and would he be okay if you picked it up and browsed through it at any time?
Are you sure there isn't another device he uses e.g. Kindle, tablet or other phone?
What's his boss's attitude to all this trouble brought to his door? It sort of sounds as though he's mostly irritable with the woman involved and that there's been no penalty for your husband (a senior manager) messing about with a junior colleague in work time. Isn't he pissed off that he might lose an employee because one of his most trusted managers couldn't keep relationships businesslike and professional? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying she's blameless, but I can't see why she has to be the one suffering all the consequences.
Mind you, her partner has insisted on at least one boundary that you haven't, related to them still working together. If this affair is over, she's possibly got more respect for him than your husband has for you, because he insisted she did something very tangible and which would incur personal loss.
Your husband got to go to Portugal.
What are the consequences for him really?
Sweetheart, I can imagine some of these posts look like we're having a go at you, when you've done nothing wrong. I've noticed that sometimes has the opposite intended effect and an OP will start getting defensive. It really isn't intended to hurt you any more than you already have been and the intention is to be a bit more objective and detached about a situation than you possibly can, because you love this man.
We don't. So it's much easier to see through the lies.
What a terrible situation OP. I really feel for you.
My question though is: why will this time be any different? Your dh has had various opportunities to put things right this year and has chosen not to. For example, in April and June and August YOU thought you were both working through things. Your dh on the other hand was pursuing things with the ow in an increasingly more secretive manner.
He needs to be demonstrating some serious commitment to making this work. It doesn't sound like he is.
You can't 'move forward' until he makes a full disclosure.
How can you be honest with each other when he still keeps secrets?
Not sure I can give you a success story but if its any comfort I am going through the same thing and we are trying to make it work. My DH took a while to be completely honest and we still have lots to work on. He didn't and doesn't always do the right things to make things better but as long as I think he is trying and he is NC with the OW I will persevere for the sake of the many happy years we have had. Only you know what your relationship is really worth to you both.
Hi, thanks for all your posts. Even when it's hard to hear, the truth does help and you're all right that you have an entirely different, independant view which is what I think I need.
To answer some of the questions; yes, he is being totally open with his phone, emails etc but then he already was because he'd found another way of communicating with her that he wasn't being open about! He insists that he hasn't spoken to her since the first day back at work when she tried to contact him and that he won't/doesn't want to.
His boss, by all accounts, is disappointed but feels that unless there's a formal complaint made it's not something he could/should get involved with. I get the impression that he's pissed off with her, she's actually quite senior herself but does report to my dh, not because of what happened but how she reacted i.e instead of being honest that it was a mutual thing, she tried to shift all blame onto my dh and claim sexual harassment. As soon as he suggested pulling off emais and IM contacts between them which are tracked she immediately retracted her letter which I can only assume he sees as a sign that what she alleged wasn't true. She also tried to get a pay out from him as she felt that it was work related and therefore she should be paid to leave.
She hasn't left because she can't afford to (same as my dh) although she did indicate she would be looking for another job?
My dh and I talked long and hard last night and he again insisted that he's not still seeing her and that he understands how much he's hurt me and wants to make things work. He has already admitted that he had 'feelings' for her, not love but more than friendship and the bottom line was that he felt flattered by her attention and it was an ego-boost. He said that on reflection he feels totally embarrassed as he feels like a sad old man being flattered by a 25year old and can't believe he risked everything for that.
Problem is, I'm not sure if that lightbulb moment has come too late for us and I said as much to him. It's only stopped because I found out and this time when I did I blew the lid on it instead of trying to make things OK. Otherwise I can only assume it would still be going on.
He's gone away on business today until the weekend and I've said that he needs to take the time to think about what he's done and what he actually wants. I also intend to do the same. He cried and said he doesn't want to go away as he loves me totally and wants to make it work 100%.
Confusedandfeelingalone - sorry meant to respond to you. Thank you for your post. I'm sorry to hear you're going through this too. It's truly hideous isn't it?
Your post exactly hit the nail on the head as I feel the same. We have so much tied up in our relationship - we've been together for 21 years and I don't want o look back in years to come and regret not doing everything I could to work this out. I just need to try and decide if he feels the same as so far I'm not sure he has shown this!
I hope you continue to work things out with your dh and he proves himself worthy of you.
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