Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Why do I need to know affair details?(39 Posts)
My husband and I decided to separate last July after 23 yrs together. Our marriage started going wrong when we had our first child 11yrs ago and had been gradually getting worse over the last 5 years. We limped on but ultimately decided to separate. My only regret was not doing it sooner.
I'm in the happiest place I've been in a very very long time. The children seem fine, seeing their dad every weekend and a couple of times in the week too. I'm having the most wonderful time, I'm relaxed, I've met a guy, I'm going out having fun, all good.
The thing that still taps at my brain is my husbands EAs. 3 times since the children were born I've 'found' explicit texts/facebook messages to other women. The first 2 times I chose to forgive, the last one I found just after we'd decided to separate but it had been going on for 'long enough' (his words)
The messages were enough for me to accept that he'd been having affairs, they clearly showed that he'd spoken with these women many times, if not met them. When confronted he denied doing anything physical, and therefore didn't think he was doing anything wrong. He said he hadn't slept with them.
By the law of averages I know that if these were just the ones I caught him out on, the chances are there was much more going on that I never found out about. In my head I've decided that he must have slept with them all, and there was probably more women.
But he'd never ever admit it. So I should just draw a line now and forget it, so why do I feel the need to find out definitely what went on? I want him to finally admit he was unfaithful, and then I want to go and tell everyone. Then I want to tell him I've met a new man and I'm deliriously happy. (I know he won't like that, it'll be my revenge) Stupid, and not very respectful to my new man
Why do I want to do that? I'm not 15, I'm 39. I'm a sensible person. I've been through the separation and come out smiling. But I can't quite move on past this. I think it's because it feels like much of my marriage was based on lies and I now need to know the truth. Any advice to forget and move on?
I think wanting to know exactly what went on is a form of closure but rarely in these situations will a man offer a transparent disclosure, especially not now you aren't in a relationship with one another. At the end of the day you really have all the proof you need because even if he didn't have sex with them he was cheating on you in terms of he has not been loyal to you as his wife and life partner by communicating with these women in the first place.
As for revenge, it might make you feel good for a short while but it changes nothing. Maintain the moral high ground and continue to keep a dignified silence. Personally I think killing people with kindness is quite satisfying The best revenge you can have is to be happy, which you are!
I'm not great at this having just found out about an EA.
I think it's human nature to want to know the full truth and process everything. Life feels half empty when you only know half the facts and frankly, he was lying to you.
Until everything is processed mentally, I imagine it is very hard to leave the past where it is. You shared a lot of years with that man, despite your new and happier life.
I don't think you'll ever be party to the comprehensive truth on those affairs. He will always lie and leave things out.
I think you would do better to tell yourself it no longer matters to you, and to leave them in the past with your relationship with him. Put it in a little box in your head and lock it for good.
Whatever he tells you, in the guise of enlightening you, will be addled with lies anyway.
It's not comething you can hope to put to bed via your ex, so you'll just have to do so by yourself.
Good luck xx
Thanks, I like the idea of putting it away in a locked box. I'm going to drive myself crazy otherwise. I have thought about asking him, asking him for the whole truth. But it's probably not even going to help.
I remember your threads. So glad you're happier.
You don't need him to admit it. You know he was playing about. My ex has never admitted, I probably know the half of it. He minimised all of it and swears he didn't sleep with anyone. I just reming myself that I KNOW what I know. In fact I actually think not knowing all the details is better- it's all been painful enough hasn't it? You don't need to know x, y, z. Even talking about it again with him is giving him time and energy.
Keep on moving forward love...
You don't need to know, so give yourself permission to move on
All you actually need to know is that you are happier now and that is all that matters
You're right, it was painful enough just finding out what I did. I'm really not sure why I feel like I need to know all the details now. I think I want to blame him for everything. At the moment he tells everyone that we just grew apart and made a mutual decision to separate. But that's not true..he started distancing himself from me years ago and I tried my best to make him like me again.
I wanted to make it work. It just feels like he didn't, so i do blame him. I still feel very guilty about putting the children through the breakup. I would have done anything to make it work. I think I want to know what he was really up to so I can justify what happened in my head. I know he had EAs so I know I've done the right thing. I just think if I knew he'd had full-on affairs I could shut the box forever.
Silly really. An EA is just as bad as a PA isn't it. Does it even matter?
It wouldn't matter to me, but then I am not you.
He won't give you the truth though, you know that. He doesn't even have the respect for you, now your relationship is ended and he has nothing more to lose, to let you have that. Which tell you all you need to know
he cares more for his "good name" with everyone else than someone he spent 23 years with
says it all really
Yes, he's complained a few times that friends are being 'funny' with him. One in particular has barely spoken to him since we split up because he knows (via his wife who is my friend) what he'd been doing and is really angry with him.
I don't think he's told him he knows, but has refused to discuss it because he thinks he treated me disgustingly. Exh is annoyed that his friend has 'dumped' him and seems to have no idea why. He's told me a few times that his family and friends are just ignoring him and is quite incensed about it.
Although I never told anyone about his first 2 affairs at the time, i've not held back now so quite a few people know. I honestly don't think he thinks he did anything wrong, which is why he's upset that people are now snubbing him.
I just tell him that I'm having a brilliant time and all my friends and family are being a huge support.. (they really are)
I would be singing like a fucking canary. I'm a bitch like that though.
I agree that it's only human nature to want to know what an ex is up to and to torture yourself going over all the mean things he did. There's some good self help books on getting over an ex partner. Tell yourself he was a liar and a cheat and you deserve a lot better.
I'd be singing too...top of my lungs...
I want to sing! But I want to know what he did so I can sing about that too! He'll never tell me will he, dammit
I think it's only natural to want to know the details, but he's never going to give you what you're looking for, and will probably believe that you haven't moved on at all and aren't as happy as you say you are if you ask him. He sounds self involved enough to think that.
I think you'd be better off showing total disinterest in his life. The next time he talks about friends snubbing him, just change the subject to either the children or practical matters (divorce etc). That would make it loud and clear that you have no interest in him or his problems. Part of not being with him anymore is that you no longer have to listen to his pathetic whining anymore! You're free, you have brilliant friends, children who love you and a lovely new partner who fancies the pants off you. Enjoy them
What you already know he did is bead enough to sing if you want to.
To be fair though, I guess that would put you in the same camp as him ie. caring too much about what other people think < puts sensible cap on >
Share what you want to. But mostly, appreciate this knobhead is no longer your concern. It's a winning situation, after all.
He'll never tell the truth, you know that.
Say you had a choice though:
A. Absolutely knowing the truth from asking him
B. Showing him that he is nothing by asking nothing
C'mon - you're picking B, right?!!!!
A little while down the line, you'll genuinely not care what he did, and you'll be soooooooo glad you picked B!
Every time you have those intrusive thoughts, wanting to know the truth, say to yourself "I'm simply not interested in anything to do with him. It bores me."
Good luck with the new man!
I have told quite a few people what I know he did. Mainly because I finally want them to know the truth rather than just going along with the 'we just grew apart' bollocks. We only grew apart because he wandered off in another direction.
I do love not having to listen to all his shitty moaning. He still tries, but I have perfected the 'oh dear'/change the subject routine and it's brilliant.
I make sure I'm cheerful whenever I see him (not difficult because I actually am very cheerful - but he would drag me back down in seconds if he could) and everyone tells me how much happier I seem. A few have also told HIM how much happier I am He didn't like that either.
He just still seems miserable, and while I'm so glad that I don't have to see it any more, I do worry that he'll pile all his woes onto our eldest child (she's 11) After all, everyone else is ignoring him so he'll need someone to lean on. He's already started doing this so I've told him not to pressure her with it all. She has said she thinks he's unhappy though, I just hope she'll see the truth for herself in a few years.
Well, you could make an executive decision here
You DO know what happened. He had several affairs.
So YES, go right on ahead with:
'What happened? Thought you guys were so happy.'
'He had several affairs when we were together.'
Don't underestimate your daughter, OP
OK, maybe while she is at a "sensitive" age just now she will feel sorry for him. But give her a couple of years of listening to his moaning but more importantly seeing for herself with the benefit of a bit of maturity he is full of hot air and bile, she will guess the truth
I hope you're right AF, she's an incredibly sensible girl with quite an old head on her shoulders already. She's observant. I just worry that my children might develop his traits, I have a son too - I'd be devastated if either of them ever treated someone like this.
Indeed. But they have you to counter it. And a more healthy relationship being modelled on a daily basis.
It's likely they will eventually realise their father is a bit of a fuck up, which is sad in itself, but you cannot shield them from that.
Yes, at least they only see him in small doses now. So they don't see the daily moaning and miserable self-pity. I talk to them a lot about respect, and how to be honest about feelings rather than bottling them up.
I can do my best. I hope they will understand.
Join the discussion
Please login first.