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How to let go - DH has left for good(15 Posts)
I posted on here a few months back when I found out my DH had an affair. Until then I thought life was perfect, we always enjoyed each other's company, did lots of nice things with DD and I had the family I'd always wanted. Everyone who knew DH thought he was the nicest guy around (I did too) and it was a major shock when I found out this affair with a colleague had gone on for almost a year.
I was devastated but wanted to give it another go, I read books, we went to counselling, talked for hours and all seemed to be going well. He seemed to be doing everything thing he should to make it work, we made plans for the future and I felt like I was making progress in moving on.
Last week, seemingly out of the blue, he said he wasn't happy and didn't want to do this anymore. He moved out the next day and is already talking about buying his own place, etc.
I guess I'm finding it hard to figure out what's going on. I'm already wondering if he's started seeing this colleague again. Or if he's having an early mid life crisis! He's been my best friend and everything I wanted in a partner for 10 years (until his affair) and I loved our family life. I so wanted to give dd the stability of both parents that I didn't have. I know you can't stay together for children but as far as I knew we didn't have an unhappy marriage! Quite the opposite!
I suppose when I found out about his affair I grieved the loss of our (what I thought was amazing) relationship. Now I feel like I am grieving for everything I thought we would do or be as a family. When I got married I was prepared to take the rough with the smooth but apparently he wasn't.
He's cheated and lied and is rewriting history by saying he never loved me. Then he'll change his mind and say he did love me but hasn't since his affair and is relieved he doesn't have to pretend anymore.
I think that he felt such excitement with the OW that he can't be happy with mundane married life now. I feel so sad for dd and feel she deserves more.
Any advice please? And how long does it take to let go of what you thought you had and move on? I'm commited to moving forward but also miss him (or who he used to be) and sadly hope that one day he might magically morph into his old self.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's breathtaking how history can be re-written like that, but remember: it's not your reality. Please, be kind to yourself. Keep posting. Do you have anyone in RL you can lean on?
Let him go. He doesn't deserve you or your wonderful family. I know it doesn't help now, but you and DD will be absolutely fine - you just need to get through to the point where you aren't telling yourself that, you just know it.
Hugs to you.
Thanks for your reply heroinechick. I am lucky that I do have support in RL but sometimes it helps to get advice from people further removed or that have experienced this themselves.
It's hard not to believe him when he's rewriting everything that happened but I hope one day I can look back at it with happy memories and know it wasn't all crap like he's making out!
Sod him, he's just weak. Lots of people are.
I know it doesn't seem like it but in a few years time you won't even care. My parents are divorced and with new people, and my step-parents are divorced too so I feel like I have some insight. They are all ideally suited to their new partners and all the stuff that went on with their exes doesn't matter any more.
Sorry this happened to you. It's hard when you want to persevere for something worthwhile but other people fail you.
It's a dark time you're facing and having us dish out what must sound suspiciously like platitudes 'he's not worth it', 'you'll be better off without him one day,' etc must be galling, I'm sure. But you are right - viewed from this distance, I feel confident in reassuring you that a) you will get through this b) it won't all be roses, but c) mumsnet will support you, d) you will learn who really loves you and e) one day you will look back and realise that you are in a better place.
Honestly, you know the truth. Men in this position will lie to themselves to protect their own ego, and unfortunately to you too as an upshot. More hugs.
The rewriting of history is so so painful, and this for me, was one of the main reasons it was so hard to come to terms with and move forward. It is as if you don't know who you are anymore and at the time I felt that my past had been stolen from me as well as my future.
I didn't have mumsnet at the time, and it has been a real help years later as I now realise that it's all a bloody script -they all say the same things!! I think it's important to be able to grieve for your past and the future you thought you had that will now be different.
You do get over it, there will be a lot of pain to go through first though, but eventually you will get through it and start to live again. I also tried to work with him to save our marriage after initially finding out about his affair, but we split 10 months later after I found out he had been seeing the OW all the time. That was the most painful thing, but also it helped me to see just how appalling they both were and eventually I began to get some sort of resolution in my own mind that at least I had tried.
Timewise, it took me a couple of years to even function again properly. There were also a lot of issues with the DCs who were totally devastated by what they saw as his double betrayal, and they had some quite serious difficulties for a few years.
I went no contact after about 6 months, and it did help. I have seen him, but only a few times over the last four or five years. I know this isn't workable with younger children though- mine were teens. I will always miss the person he used to be, but he hasn't been that person for a very long time now. A little part of me now still wants him to morph back to the person he was - but it's never happened.
I didn't continue with counselling after we finally split, I felt humiliated by the way he had lied to me in our joint counselling and just couldn't face it. Big mistake - I should have stayed with counselling, it would have helped me move forward quicker. I'm through that now, but it took a lot longer.
Lots of unmumsnetty hugs from me too. I know how you feel.
Just believe that when he said he never loved you this is BS so don't ever believe that..... As you say, people rewrite history (a coping mechanism in my opinion to justify their decisions)
You are grieving for what you had and what you thought your future would be so let yourself go through that process and you WILL come out the other end.
Sounds to me like you are a lovely person and he didn't deserve you...I'm sorry he's disappointed you but that doesn't change anything about your worth or lovability. Hugs xxx
It sounds trite but honestly time will heal all. The question of how long is different for everyone and it largely depends on you and what you do now.
Talking it through from your point of view helps to create your own narrative of the relationship. FWIW it took me 3 years to get to the point I'm at now where I am proud of the fact that I had a long marriage in which I was faithful and committed - and nothing my ex husband could have done can take that achievement away from me. I can feel some empathy for him now, he's a silly and weak man who I feel kind of sorry for now.
But it takes working through all the shit to get to that stage. Have you tried finding a therapist locally? Can you afford that? Or a trusted friend who can take an objective stance?
Thanks for all the positive replies - they really help put things into perspective. My work offers free counselling so I may consider that.
The rewriting history is pretty cruel isn't it?! Especially when we had a happy marriage and a lovely child together. I can't go NC as dd is 5 but it is hard when I have to see him. Sometimes he seems like his old self and that makes me miss him. I'm keeping him up to date with everything that's going on in dd's life as I hope he'll do the same when he has contact with her.
If it comes out eventually that he is seeing the OW I'm not sure I can be so reasonable then! It makes me feel sick to think of them playing happy families with dd (he even took her on a date with them once!!) I can't trust that when she's around he'll have dd's best interests at heart.
What a mess. Never thought we would end up like this, but I suppose nobody does
Yes he is weak and was never in it for the long haul, and probably still seeing the OW, no going back now, he's shown you what he is capable of, you can do far better than that. I understand your devastation but time will heal it and you will look back and realise he was never good enough for you.
Keep yourself busy, lean on all your friends and family and you will come out of this a better and wiser person.
The rewriting history bit will be as a direct result of the affair. He has gone back to those pre drudgery days of illicit meetings, a woman idolising him and frankly lots of sex. It's almost like he thinks that he can't have loved you as this must be real love. Of course we know that it is lust and not love. There is a big difference meeting your lover in a hotel room with a couple of hours to spend together and focusing on nothing but each other instead of coming home from work and listening to the trials and tribulations of normal married life and children. An affair is a drug. You know you shouldn't be doing it but something makes you keep going back.
I have experienced this from the other side. My ex explained to me that she had never loved anyone like she loved him and that they were meant to be together etc.....of course after the year of secret meetings and lots of sex it started to fizzle out and he wouldn't leave his wife!
If he is 40 plus there is a possibility of mid life crisis. I am not enjoying my 40's very much!
Hopefully you will feel less pain day by day and get stronger. I did and life has turned out much better.....
Although everything about an affair is nasty, from what I've seen 2 of the cruellest things an unfaithful person can do is to lie about why they are leaving the marriage and then, re-writing history.
It seems the two go hand-in-hand more often than not. Which is logical when you think about it.
He doesn't want to admit he's resumed his affair or started yet another one, because he knows this is the only real reason he's leaving. He's much too much of a coward to live a single life after all. But he doesn't want you to know all of that, so he has to invent other reasons for his departure and to claim his unhappiness was longstanding and full of silent suffering.
One of the best bits of advice I've seen on here for dealing with what seems to be such a common behavioural trait in unfaithful abandoners- is to trust your own memories and to ask trusted allies to help you with that. If not too painful, look at photos, read cards and diaries, jot down conversations you had about your relationship when he was saying something entirely different.
It's actually very hard if not impossible to fool all the people all of the time and I suspect you'll find tangible evidence and the lived experiences and observations of others that entirely contradict his account of the happiness in your relationship.
I'm in a similar position, though my ex's affair was emotional and he's chasing her for more than that - the joke, she's gone back to her ex and is apparently not interested in him. Thus he's been licking his wounds with me...and I feel an idiot.
It's not been going on that long, but he's off and that's that. He's all over the place, but I so know how you feel. It's a horrible feeling to have the history re-written when I still have emails and text messages from before he started taking her out declaring how much he loved me...And I felt loved. And we were happy.
The threads on here today have given me a lot of strength and have opened my eyes to the reality of what I'm dealing with.
We really do deserve better than this.
I am wishing you much strength and unmumsnetty hugs OP
Yes he is weak and I suppose it's better I know that after 10 years than after 30!
When I see him I remember who he used to be and want to hug him but then remember what he's said and done. In a way it would be easier if he has left for her! I'm still not totally convinced although I'm not sure why I believe anything he says now.
It's pretty hard at this point to think of being happier in the future than I have been the last 10 years but I really hope I will be.
Thanks again for all the wise words and kindness - they really have helped me to feel strong today and know that I can get through this.
Rightallalong - so sorry you are going through this too. What a horrible place to be. Feel free to pm me if you want to talk, mumsnet is my lifeline at the moment!
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