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.
Really sad and confused(91 Posts)
Hi, I don't really know what to say, because I don't really know what's going on. I don't really have anyone to talk to about this, so have come on here (have nc'ed) but this may be a long post so please bear with me.
Dh went away for a week to see a friend. He came back last week and out of the blue said he hadn't spent all the time with his friend, he had taken some time alone to think about things. He doesn't know where he wants to be or what he wants to do. I had no idea. We have been together 18 years, and I thought we were happy.
Work is stressful - we have a business and he is the mainstay of it. Most problems come to him - there are staff but he is the decision maker and has the technical knowledge to be best placed to deal with things. He says it is not just that though, everything is intermingled. He says he still loves me, but that he doesn't know if he is in the right place. That it's like he's wearing someone else's clothes. I said that I had no idea, and he says that if I had looked i would have done. I knew work was stressful, and I knew that when the kids created it stressed him out too. But other than that, even looking back in hindsight, I don't see anything else. I was sent roses on valentines day and we were as lovey as normal before he went away. I feel lost and blindsided, and I don't know what to do to save my marriage and help him. He says he needs space and time to find some clarity, to work out what he wants to do and what would be right for him, and I can see that, I can. I just want to find out where I went wrong and if there is anything I can do to fix it. He is not only my dh, he has been my best friend too, and vice versa.
I would be astonished if, after all that mealy-mouthed psychobabble about 'not being in the right place' it wasn't a straightforward case of cherchez la femme... sorry.
If you really want to save your marriage, you have to be strong and tell him to take all the time he needs to work out what he wants but to do it outside the home. If he's already half way out of the door to an OW it saves you a lot of time. If there's no OW it lets him experience the chilly reality of rejecting his family, rather than the fantasy of the idea.
I hope this doesn't end up the usual way these scenarios do...cog is right, cherchez le femme....
An ex's wise mum once tolde that men rarely need space for any other reason than an ow.
This whole 'stressed' thing often turns out to mean the stress was lying and sneaking about...
Do you think it's at all a possibility?
Ps- You're taking full responsibility for this? Another persons actions? 'I want to know where I went wrong...'
You need to turn that thinking on its head right now- whatever the reason for this, it isn't anything you've done. There's two people in this relationship and your dh is a grown man.
"He says he needs space and time to find some clarity, to work out what he wants to do and what would be right for him" what about whats right for you? Has he always been a selfish cunt?
I truly don't believe there is an OW, partly because there would be no time to meet one. We live together, we work together. Work is in our converted garage at home. I am here most of the time, he does go out an about for work during the day, but we have always wanted to be together in leisure time. We are in a rural area, have to drive miles to the nearest pub. I just don't see it.
I did ask, though, just to rule it out, and I believe him when he says there isn't. I do hear what you are saying though.
So where do you think he was when he wasn't staying with his friend? Do you know that he even spent any time with the friend?
In your shoes I'd be checking phones and email accounts...
It's going to be tough if his workplace is your home but I think you have to try and flip this around from 'how can I help him?' to 'how can I protect me?'...
FWIW No-one ever thinks their OH has the time or opportunity for an affair but I would be very interested to know where he spent the rest of his time when he was supposed to be spending a week with a friend... and with whom.
he just went away "on his own" for a week
of course there is "time" for an OW
I am sorry, love. I have never seen a situation that started with "I am not sure if I still want this..." where there was not a current or a potential OW
Just about to ask where and which friend he was with during his week away.
Seems fishy that he went away and then came back with this bombshell.
He stayed in a hotel, but did spend some of the time with his friend - who was way down south. if he met an OW down there, it'd be a 7 hour trip just to see her! No, I think this is more like mid life crisis type stuff "where am I going, what am I doing". I still love him, I don't want him to leave. He says he still loves me and surely if I show him how good he has it, he'll realise it too? Or am I just being really stupid.
Please be gentle when you answer that...
Please be prepared now for OW to be on the scene pretty soon.
With what he has said in 95% (ish) of cases there is always someone else.
If I was you (and with what I have read on here) I would tell him to pack a bag and leave and have the space to think.
If there is OW then he's already checking out of your relationship.
You need some space with him out of your sight and head to figure out what YOU want!!!
Do not put this on you. This is entirely him.
We all have stresses but we don't all decide that we just check out of family life and leave the other partner to deal with all of the fallout! Which is what you will have to do.
Having said all this - be kind to yourself.... Try to eat and drink. Sugary tea, soups, smoothies and bananas are you best friends right now.
Think about the impact this will have on you and your DC.
He is being a completely selfish knob - with bells on!!!
Time to get angry OP!
Please don't do the "pick me" dance. It is humiliating and debasing. He either wants you as you are not at all. Offering more blowjobs, cooking fancy meals and keeping your trap shut will not hold onto him. And when you find out later down the line he had already checked out of your knickers and into someone else's you will hate yourself.
You're not stupid...but you're barking up the wrong tree. Understandably.
The ONLY solution here is to let him go. Tell him that he can have space but you also need it to process this.
He knows how good he's got it with you. He knows how lovely you are and what a good life you have together- but he still wants space. Let him have it, honestly.
I'm going over and over this and I don't think I'm in denial about the possibility of an OW. I know him and I just don't think it would be like that.
No it'll be the complete opposite if you take that stance, trying to show him how good it is. However awful you are feeling you must try and be strong and show him that you aren't a doormat and your feelings are important.
OWs can travel you know. 'I'm on a free ticket for a week, meet me in Brighton'... is not beyond the realms.
My ExH said all those things when we broke up. He still loved me, 'but not in the same way' or 'not enough'. He 'wasn't sure what he wanted'. We'd just started ttc and he gallantly suggested that, if I was pregnant, he'd stick around. I think he rationalised it as letting me down gently and, like you, I was so shocked I chose to take him on face value. Meanwhile his new girlfriend was clearing him a space in the wardrobe and having keys cut.
Did he contact you a normal amount, in a normal way on holiday?
There is nothign to say he stayed "down south" for the whole time. he could have been closer than you think for the "missing" few days
surely if I show him how good he has it, he'll realise it too?
So he's dropped a massive bombshell on you and is being a completely selfish w@nker and you want to show him how good he has it!!???
Tell him to leave now. Loss is the only thing he will understand.
You stepping up after he's knocked you down is NOT the way to go.
Get him gone and then 'if' he comes grovelling back it will be him who has to do the work to win you back.
Look up 'Hysterical bonding'
And you know what, part of me not wanting him to go is pure fear of being on my own. I live in the middle of nowhere. He is my bf, there is no-one else. I have no real friends here, and I can't imagine meeting anyone else if the worst did happen. I don't even know how I would meet anyone else. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean I would need someone to define me or to rely on or any of that crap, I couldn't and wouldn't want to replace him, and wouldn't try, at least in the short term. This is just such a shock I can't process things. I can't eat, I want to burst into tears, but I am having to hold myself up and pretend everything is fine for the kids.
"I truly don't believe there is an OW, partly because there would be no time to meet one"
That has often been stated by others as well where there has actually been an OW.
Doing the "pick me dance" is degrading and will only prolong your own pain.
From the marvellous Chump Lady site....
What does the humiliating dance of “pick me!” look like?
Mounting a defense of the marriage – trying to hard sell your cheater on What You Have Together.
Eating the shit sandwich. Not bringing up the affair. Stuffing your emotions so as not to upset the cheater with your distress.
Believing that the cheater’s need for “happiness” is paramount to the commitment they made to you. If they want to break that commitment, fine, there are honest ways to do that, beginning with a divorce lawyer. If they want to work on happiness, there is therapy, God, and working at pet shelters. But they cannot have all the benefits of marriage AND a side dish fuck because they aren’t “happy.”
Let’s make a deal! Don’t make a bargain with the Devil – as long as you try harder to make the cheater happy and fix what’s wrong, they won’t betray you.
Super spouse! Having hysterical bonding sex, going to the gym, and dressing spiffier. If you’re trying to be a better you to “win,” you’re just rewarding them. Be a better you for YOU. Your next partner will appreciate it a lot more than they will.
Finally, don’t beg. Don’t grab their ankles as they walk out the door. Don’t drape yourself over furniture weeping. Let them go.
It doesn't paint a good picture does it ? Even if he hasn't cheated, doing all that stuff above will make him lose respect for you, not wake up to how marvellous you are.
I would also consider moving from where you live at some point; you sound very isolated. Why do you live in the "middle of nowhere"; whose idea was that originally?. His?.
Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied.
Join the discussion
Please login first.